Interview with Berend de Jong – Chief Technology Officer at NEBU

online panelsBrief background of Berend de Jong:

My education was focused on developing a wide range of skills needed to have your own business. I was attracted by the diversity and dynamics of this. Soon I was interested in software and started as application manager in the automotive branch. In 2003 I started to work for Nebu and started to learn the MR market. After managing the Customer Care department for many years I manage Development department since 2011.

Online MR: Nebu has seen a phenomenal growth since its inception – what contributing factors made this happen?

Berend de Jong: Our slogan is ‘evolving with you’ and that is also the key of our success.

We listen to our clients carefully and translate their specific wishes into generic solutions also valuable for other clients and prospects.

This enriches our products and makes the product suite a good offer for most MR companies.

Our purpose is to help clients increase the efficiency of their core MR processes. Our clients notice this with the great support we give and the extensive information that is provided through our users website

Online MR: What key features in your survey tool are enabling you to get more fans?

Berend de Jong: Close to everything is possible and if it’s not, we will create it.

One of our clients needed a questionnaire, which can act as web service, and we created this.

We always allow javascript, css and html additions you want to have in the script so you can fine-tune in any way you want.

You can also use Flash, html5 or other methods you like.

This is already possible for ages and the Flash plugins we made available in a more easy way in a recent release we had.

Online MR: Security, Scalability & Support – how are you ensuring that they are adequately been addressed to?

Berend de Jong: Most of our clients use our hosted solution.

We work together with hosting partner NXS.

They provide the data center, the hardware and all third party licenses we need and we take care of our own software.

We have monitoring software in place and can have a virtual server added quick if needed. For many years we have experience with clients who put a big load on the system with either a big call center running on Dub InterViewer or with many respondents filling in questionnaires concurrently.

Every optimization we could find we did and this has led to the current situation where the system can handle big load and is fully scalable.

It is also a matter of attitude.

If a CATI client of us has a survey with 4 million sample records, many different time zones, close to 9,000 quota cells, many interviewers calling at the same time we don’t say ‘this is not possible’ but find solutions and make it possible.

Online MR: ‘We all look for a complete package’ – how are you providing it to your clients?

Berend de Jong: We set up our product suite in a modular way.

The core is data collection and panel management.

Around this core we allow multiple modules either coming form our self or provided by third party solutions.

We are open to hook up with an additional module a client or prospect would like to use.

Online MR: How would you differentiate Dub InterViewer vis-à-vis other similar data collection tools available in market?

Berend de Jong: We always want to go from our own strengths.

We are convinced our data collection tool has a number of strong points: can handle big loads, is fully scalable, almost everything can be designed and if not we can make it happen, CATI and WAPI can be used fully hybrid, strong integration with panel management system Dub Knowledge, many supervisor monitoring options available and many more strong points.

Online MR: How well can conjoint studies be designed/ integrated with a web survey in Dub InterViewer?

Berend de Jong: There are multiple forms of conjoint.

Some forms can be designed in Dub InterViewer and a number of clients have done this.

All other conjoint types can be done by routing respondents form Dub InterViwer to a third party tool and back. Also here the modular and open approach shows its value and enables our clients to do all projects they want.

Online MR: Have you tested the integrity of concurrent data being collected by your tool in test as well as production environment? If yes can you share your findings?

Berend de Jong: We constantly test our software and our tests are on technical level meaning that the software does what you expect it to do.

Online MR: Can we use filters to extract data as per the nested quota?

Berend de Jong: When exporting data you can apply filters to get exactly the data you want.

Online MR: Do I need specific technical skills to extract this data or your tool provides a simple DIY interface for it?

Berend de Jong: Exporting data gets done in the interface of our system where you can specify what you want with a range of settings.

If you want to export quick without special settings needed you can select ‘Turbo export’ resulting in the system doing all the steps for you.

Online MR: Given these facts/claims can we safely say that Dub InterViewer eases the need to have the integrity of ‘collected data’ rechecked using tools like SPSS thus saving a data collection company not just the licenses of such software but also the data processing team?

Berend de Jong: We believe we have a good range of tool sets, which enable you to do a lot. Like mentioned earlier our motto is ‘evolving with you’ and we are always open for suggestions for improvement.

Online MR: ‘Automation’ – to what extent it is built into your tool?

Berend de Jong: Repeated actions needs to get automated as much as possible.

A number of options can be put into a schedule: export data, import data into sample management and send mails. In Dub Knowledge (our panel management tool) we automated even the sample extraction from your panel database.

All you do is set up the project, specify the quotas you want and the mail you want to send out and the system will take care of the rest. In the dashboard you can easily follow the progress.

Online MR: What future you see for the traditional complex programming survey tools vis-à-vis the growth of DIY survey platforms?

Berend de Jong: For both there is a market. There will be some shifting from DIY to complex programming and vice versa.

We also believe DIY increases the total market and it is something to embrace and benefit from.

Every MR specialist will recognize that doing good research requires a lot of knowledge. Not everything can be done by DIY.

The challenge is to offer DIY and give the client the option to ask for help in case they experience it is harder than they thought.

Online MR: Being a technology firm – how do you prepare for any new disruptive technology that might threaten the existing players?

Berend de Jong: We keep track of new technologies and the opportunities they bring.

We have an R&D Manager fully focused on this. When we feel a technology is promising we create a Proof Of Concept to test it.

Based on reactions from clients we decide to continue to develop it or not.

Online MR: How are you ensuring Nebu’s footprints in new emerging markets like Asia Pacific or Latin America?

Berend de Jong: In India we have a large client base, which is still growing.

So far we don’t have clients in Latin America.

We are planning for the next years to have a presence in Latin America and grow in this part of the world.

Online MR: What will be the most exciting feature/ functionality to be added in the next version of Dub InterViewer?

Berend de Jong: It happens to be that today (2 May 2012) we announce our new version of Dub InterViewer (data collection) and also Dub Knowledge (panel management).

In Dub InterViewer we redesigned part of the tool to make it more easy to use and have frequently used functionality quick accessible.

In Dub Knowledge we introduced a highly automated project management where based on project settings sample will get automatically pulled from your panel database at the right moment.

Both products will get developed further where we want to make sure that all our clients can use the best of both worlds.

online panelsBerend’s co-ordinates are mentioned below:

Assum 16a

1911 ML Uitgeest

The Netherlands


T:+31 251 311 413

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