By Nicholas Parsamakis
CEO, Total Operations, Ipsos in SSA
Ipsos thrives on research, execution, and delivery, including research design consultancy, questionnaire programming, translation, sampling, field coordination, data-processing, coding, and visualisation, according to Nicholas Parsamakis who is the chief executive of Total Operations Africa, a division of Ipsos.
Mr Parsamakis said the research firm bets on contactless approach, which is unique as compared to in-person interviewing. This is achieved through seamless offline and online integration, from online and mobile to face-to-face and telephone interviewing.
“Mixed-mode data collection is the future,” he said in the story. “We constantly invest in innovative and automated approaches to data collection, irrespective of mode, leveraging technology, data partnerships and mobile first survey designs, to engage and interact with people in a way that aligns with our digital reality.”
A mixed mode research design, Parsamakis argued, combines two or more data collection modes within a survey, either within the same survey or “between different waves of a tracker.”
Among many things, he added, the style increases sample coverage – reaches bigger respondents’ pools. It also increases response rate and pushes down costs as it combines “more expensive modes with more cost-effective online modes.”
The other factor is leveraging fully integrated Computer-Assisted Personal interview (CAPI) scripting, and field management platform which also includes mobile first capabilities such as the Global Positioning System (popular as GPS), video, audio capture as well as artificial intelligence.
CAPI, for instance, is not only used across all market segments where respondents have access to phones, it has also been used to reach the general population, stakeholders, and businesses.
Ipsos has also gone to great lengths to offer a regional network of face-to-face interviewers while also conducting interviews using “iField”, a digital data collection platform. Additionally, the research company boasts a 70-seater state of the art call centre here in Kenya.
At the onset of the pandemic, Ipsos complied with safety framework while collecting data. To date, the firm conducts a bi -weekly compliance control monitor to ensure safety measures and protocols adherence during data collection. This helps also provide its clients confidence and proof that the company is providing a “safe CV 19 compliant working environment.”
Parsamakis said that Total Operations’ move to provide opportunities to fresh graduates who support them in the capacity of enumerators and call centre agents is paying off. He is proud that the firm’s loyalty and award program for call agents is making an impact.
“We will be looking to make impact through collaboration with high schools, as a part of our Research Clubs of Africa partnerships with them to mentor students, equip and expose learners to research methods and data collection methods from an early age,” he said.
2018 RCA Competitions
There is minimal understanding as well as the use of research in Africa despite the critical importance of market research. The subject has remained a mystery to many as they don’t understand what the discipline is all about and the various processes within it and its application. The Research Clubs of Africa (RCA ) is a program that was initiated by Ipsos Limited in 2007 to build high school students’ capacity to undertake on market research, in recognition of the current low understanding and use of research in Africa, despite its importance. The Main focus of RCA is to demystify market and social research at an early age.