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How we work

Naturally, the best way to find out how we work is to work with us. But let us give you some idea of how we approach our projects.

We value our people

Aotearoa is a small, diverse country. As we're in the business of understanding this diversity, we take care to respect and look after our staff. We value the fact that ours is a multi-cultural, multi-lingual group who are infectious with a thirst for knowledge.

We innovate

Our society, like any, is dynamic. No two research projects are ever the same, and you can see why we have to be agile and light on our feet, as well as innovative in our thinking. Every client requires and deserves a fresh approach, not something off the shelf.

In addition, we are always looking for ways to improve response rates, reduce respondent burden, and make research results and the insights they contain more accessible to our clients, while also being more cost-efficient.

We are pragmatic

Kiwis are practical, eh? We certainly are. Our approach is very pragmatic. People use our research to solve real-life problems, so we make sure that the process of finding the answers is fit-for-purpose.

We make sure you understand

We work closely with our clients at every stage of the research process. We need to understand your needs completely, and you need to understand what we find out. We don't just give you a bunch of data at the end and run. We constantly update our clients throughout the project, and the final results are really just the start.

We commit to our clients

For us, the best result is partnering with you long-term. We love collaborating with your communications, customer relations and other business partners to nut out solutions for you. This is where we can really benefit your organisation, and this is our mission.

Quality assurance

In order to ensure the quality of our work, we approach our work in a particular way.

All project work is completed by teams of researchers, led by a Partner or Research Director of the company. This ensures there is project continuity, should any member of a research team be unable to continue working on a project.

The team approach also ensures that project work is peer reviewed at all critical stages, with the work of individual team members reviewed by senior members of the team.

In addition, all projects have a Project Plan, which is developed with the client and is used to monitor and report against the progress of a project.

As noted earlier, based on the Research Association of New Zealand's IQS system, all our survey research is completed in conformance with ISO 20252.

Sample Security

As most of our surveys are conducted with samples drawn from our clients' own databases of customers or stakeholders, we make available our SSL VPN client portal so they can be send to us with complete security.

When samples have been received, they are stored and used for the survey they were provided, with access limited to the project team responsible for the survey. In accordance with the Code of Practice of the European Society for Marketing and Opinion Research (ESOMAR), samples are always deleted or destroyed after the project has been completed. Note that the Code of Practice meets the requirements of the European Union's new General Data Protection Regulation (2018)

In general, our sample security policies and practices meet all the requirements of Section 16 of the New Zealand Information Security Manual (NZISM), published by the Government Communications Security Bureau in 2014.

Confidentiality and privacy

We also observe all the requirements of the Privacy Act 1993. This, for example, prevents us from returning data files to clients that contain information that can identify individual respondents unless they have given their consent.

Data security

Given our Wellington-based location and our largely public sector client base, we have invested significantly in security software. We use a Juniper Networks Firewall and the latest virus software (AntiVirus and AntiSpyware) which is automatically updated as new virus definitions are available.

Internal access to files is restricted to those researchers working on the project that the files relate to, and this is actively monitored.

As an added layer of security, we have developed policies and practices to ensure that files received from and data repatriated to clients containing confidential information are not compromised.

Our backup system is such that all files and data are being continually backed up. Specifically, we run two types of backups; a real-time back up running in the background through the business day and a nightly tape drive back up.

Our real-time backup runs on our file server, allowing us to instantly restore a particualr file at any stage during the current active backup day. All prior real-time daily back-ups are merged at the end of each business day to provide a single point of recovery. This backup stores up to three months of data onsite to allow for instant data restoration of our working files.

Our nightly backup is stored on tape, with a copy of this stored offsite with Revera, our private cloud service provider. Revera is a fully-owned subsidiary of Spark, is New Zealand’s cloud services leader and has all its data centres located throughout New Zealand. A number of government agencies, including IR, use Revera.

The nightly tape drive backup not only backs up our files and data, it also backs up the servers themselves; both physical and virtual. This allows us, in combination with our real-time backup, to restore any server along with its files and data if a server was to fail.

The nightly offsite backup consists of only files and data. This offsite backup not only is stored initially at the local Trentham based Revera Data Centre, but is also mirrored across the rest of their data centres in New Zealand (and only in New Zealand). Included in these backups are files containing confidential customer information from our clients while the project is active. Once a project is complete, these files are deleted from the backup. Our offsite backup is very secure and encrypted using 256bit AES.

In the company's 25 year old history, we have never lost the ability to provide our services due to any security issue.

Find out more about our Data security.

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