We are immensely proud to announce that our sister company, Mackman Research, has won an MRS Operations Award 2021 in the ‘Best Data Collection – Interviewer Administered’ category!

Following a competitive tender process, on 14th September 2020, Mackman Research was commissioned by Essex County Council (ECC) to conduct a time sensitive and important business support survey during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The aim of the survey was to gain insight into how Essex County Council could provide effective support to the Essex business community and support growth during unprecedented times. Adopting a mixed-method approach, Mackman Research adapted to the difficult pandemic situation and went above and beyond the brief to provide the insight Essex County Council was looking for.

As well as emailing invitations to participants, they conducted semi-structured insight sessions with Economic Development Officers and multiple business support agencies across the region who shared their experiences with the business community during the pandemic, along with personal contacts to widen the pool of potential respondents. 

Data collection took place between September 30th and October 30th 2020, during which every effort was made to reach respondents in order to maximise the quality of the data. Considerable flexibility and compassion was employed as calls were made during evenings and weekends to conform to the varying availabilities of respondents, whose stories could be difficult to hear at times. Everyone’s voices were vitally important for the maximum effect of the survey, enhancing its ability to make a measurable difference to the Essex business community.

The efforts of Mackman Research achieved considerably more responses than the target sample size, exceeding the target of 500 respondents by 67.5%. Their rich findings meant that Mackman Research managed to provide findings for all 12 districts in addition to an overall report, exceeding expectations and going beyond the initial scope of the project. The findings of this research have enabled Essex County Council to create an evidence-based business support strategy to safeguard and create jobs, identify skills development, and establish relationships with its business community.

The winner of the ‘Best Data Collection – Interviewer Administered’ category was announced at 4pm on Thursday 23rd September. Congratulations to everyone at Mackman Research, and to all the other finalists! Find out more about the project and the MRS Operations Awards in our case study.