Crafting surveys and PHP development on a suite of tools aimed at chopping marketing segments.

Background

Optimization Group (OG) is an agile market research firm that handles survey construction and implementation, statistical analysis, data modeling, and a host of other projects for clients interested in knowing and reaching their customers. One of the core functions of Optimization Group is to develop market metrics through survey development and implementation. These surveys can take the form of market-paraell conjoint tests in which the buying process for consumers is simulated and options can adapt to consumer answers. These surveys can take the form of ideations, in which respondents provide ideas and other respondents rate these ideas for an iterative cycle in which the best ideas rise to the top. I began work at Optimization Group in August, 2010, developing surveys in an in-house toolkit built with PHP/MySQL, analyzing OG tools and database architecture, and developing the Optimization Group website.

Survey Programming and Design

The core of OGs work centers around design and implementation of large-scale customer surveys. My primary role is to examine surveys, speak to their ability to be implemented on one of a variety of tools, and implement the questions and logic. This implementation can be done through a number of toolkits, including an in-house tool developed with PHP/MySQL, Qualtrics Survey Software, Sawtooth, and more. I’ve had extensive experience working with each of these platforms and done a great depth of research into best practices for survey design.

Data Manipulation

As a professional organization, OG has a great deal of infrastructure, tools, and tasks. With such variety, pulling and transforming data can often be an onerous and precise task for the uninundated. I’ve had extensive experience working with excel, MySQL, and a variety of other tools to combine and manipulate multiple data files from surveys for the purpose of various statistical runs. In this process I’ve worked closely with colleagues at OG to ensure that the right files are used and produced.

Web Development and Business Tools

In addition to my myriad other roles at OG, I also perform routine updates of the website, including updating content and improving layout and design. I instituted a PHP contact form and aggregated e-mail addresses for sending of an annual newsletter. I’ve implemented various Flash applications onto the pages to show-off OG’s modeling capabilities. I learned to navigate and edit pages in the shell and linux environments. In addition I’ve had extensive experience working within OG’s tools for business, including GoToMeeting for screencast training and remote meetings, and Microsoft Sharepoint for storing and managing projects.

Conclusion

Working at Optimization Group has been intellectually challenging and a great deal of fun. I’ve gotten to interact with a variety of clients and projects and I’ve enjoyed the fast-paced and ever-changing nature of the work. Moving forward for this semester I will be taking on a long-term design and interaction models for a new implementation of Optimization Group’s survey toolkit. Overall, Optimization Group a great place to work.