CEO at Web-activate.com
07 June 2004 13:36pm
I recently completed a consulting project scoping the implementation of an enterprise web survey platform. It was for a large educational institution in Australia with 60,000 staff that conducts a massive number of information collections per year.
The process of determining the existing cost of surveying and then working out how much could be saved in tangible ( hard costs and labour efficiency savings) and intangible benefits was a very interesting exercise.
I must say that I was very surprised at the huge potential for gain. It highlighted to me that in larger organizations, especially Government and educational institutions tapped into many people constantly gathering and sharing information, that many arcane methods still hold. It was like digging into a treasure chest to find where savings and efficiencies could be relatively easily achieved.
Something else that became clear is how web survey platforms could be used not only for adhoc information collections, but to fill holes with systemic information collections that really should be collected by effective MIS. With management itching for better information and IT/business taking time to implement new systems, a web survey platform, although not perfect ,can be used to fill the gaps. HR is a classic example.
By the way, I am not connected to any platform provider, but after spending many years analysing and working with web technologies, I get very excited when I see the power of new technology used well.
Happy to share further insights.
Peter Kearney , www.web-activate.com
Retired at Retired
08 June 2004 13:16pm
We have been working for many years on a system to collect and score academic papers for academic conferences.
Prior to the system papers were send in the mail ( sometimes over 1,000), they were sorted by topic, photocopied tens of times and sent to reviewers by post (that is tens of thousands or pieces of paper). The reviewers filled out a scoresheet by hand and mailed it back. The results were then transcribed into a spreadsheets.
The process was very time consuming. And if a reviewer didn't get his/her pack no-one knew until the results were late coming back.
Now papers are uploaded on the web by researchers, reviewers use a login and password to review the papers on-line, and results are submitted over the web and collated by software.
Apart from the huge saving in manual effort, the system monitors reviewers progress so the timetable can be adhered to. It also makes papers available for on-line search by delegates to the conference.
The ROI is huge, and not only that it represented a significant USP for the organiser (or at least it did when we originally wrote the system - all major conference organisers have something like this now).
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