DJS Research Ltd Annual Review 2014

16th December 2014 17:10

Many thanks to all our staff, clients, suppliers, interviewers and respondents. A summary of 2014...

A mid-year re-brand, numerous new additions, and continued innovation and new developments have added to the feeling that this is a real break out year; setting the base for continued organic growth in 2015 and the coming years.

Financially, we are on course to continue a consecutive run of impressive growth years, with figures for 2014-15 already fast approaching those for the previous financial year. This provides us with the confidence that we will achieve a turnover in excess of £3.5 million, representing around 30% growth and, once again, meaning we will be able to re-invest in improving our operations, upskilling our team, and providing clients with high value market research and insight.

Below are some of our highlights from 2014, and look forward to creating more in 2015! In the meantime, we’d like to wish all our clients, suppliers, employees and, of course, every one of our half a million plus respondents, a very merry festive period, and a prosperous new year!

A change of clothes...

Perhaps the most prominent milestone of 2014 was the rebrand of DJS Research Ltd, which took place in October 2014.

As part of the change, we have redesigned our logo, website and collateral to better reflect our focus across a broad range of B2B and consumer industries – strengths which have been present for many years, but which we feel are now better reflected by our positioning.DJS Research Ltd New Website

Whilst the rebrand marks the achievements of our agency over the last 13 years, it is also a commitment to further develop in years to come, and comes at the same time as multiple major client wins, such as the Home Office, NS&I and the Department for Work and Pensions as well as several consumer finance and retail brands.

A key indicator that we were ready to rebrand was our score on the recent Crown Commercial Services Framework. We achieved the highest overall combined score and were named as one of only six agencies to be awarded a place on all of the ten lots – we feel this was a real highlight of the year, given that approximately five hundred companies submitted responses to the procurement exercise.

With this in mind, Danny Sims, Managing Director, felt the rebrand has been a long time coming:

“For a few years now we’ve been moving towards being a much larger player in the industry than we once were, and we wondered whether our client-focussed values, and the level of insight we can provide, was best portrayed by the branding we had. I think coming out of the Crown Commercial Service framework with the highest overall score was a real nod to us that we now compete with the biggest agencies, and that our flexibility and sector expertise – which we’ve championed as our key offerings for many years – are what clients are really looking for.”

Our offices have also received a face-lift – so if you’d like to come and meet us in person, please do get in touch!

Business of the Year award...

2014 has been a fantastic year for DJS Research in terms of the company’s finance, expansion and growth. This is something which has not gone unnoticed at both a national and regional level, as our efforts and services have been recognised at several awards ceremonies throughout the year.

DJS Research Ltd Stockport Business Awards 2014

In October, DJS Research was acknowledged as Business of the Year at the Stockport Business Awards. In addition to this, Alasdair Gleed won Business Person of the Year and Elliot Simmonds was shortlisted for Young Business Person of the Year.
As well as this success, Danny Sims, Managing Director of DJS Research, was a finalist at the North West’s Entrepreneur of the Year awards, and the company was shortlisted as one of the region’s Green Heroes for commitment to green issues and involvement in the community.

Small enough to listen, big enough to answer…

We have always striven to be at the forefront of the market research industry; to meet our clients’ requirements and preferences, and to do so whilst being approachable and value for money. As such, as part of our re-branding strategy, we did some of our own research, and asked our clients what they felt about us as a company.

The results were very positive, including some excellent verbal feedback and great results across a number of measures of the quality of our service. We would like to thank everyone who took part in the survey, and have donated £250 to CLIC Sargent, our corporate charity, as a thank you on our respondents’ behalf. Some findings are below, but to see the full results, please visit our dedicated infographic page.

DJS Research Ltd Market Research Agency

The best of 500 market research companies…

This year, DJS Research celebrated its success in the UK’s most wide-ranging market research procurement framework, managed by UK SBS on behalf of the Crown Commercial Service.

DJS Research was one of just 6 companies to secure a position on every one of the ten available lots. We also successfully achieved the highest scores across the ten lots, with a total of 836 out of 1000 points.

Across all the lots, DJS Research was consistent and did not score below 81.2% – never placing below 4th place.

We also ranked the highest within two distinct lots: Research Support Services and Panels. This demonstrates our knowledge and experience in managing the VoicED Education Community and investment in internal operations and quality assurance.Crown Commercial Service Supplier Market Research

Speaking about the results of the Framework agreement, Danny Sims had the following comments:

“This assessment was open to every agency in the UK, and was a stringent and detailed examination of every aspect of their offering – including costing, quality assurance, methodological expertise, considerations about the future of market research, complaint handling etc. – carried out by an objective and well-resourced judge (UK SBS).

To have been successful on every single Lot of this procurement exercise – and to have achieved the highest combined score of any of the 500 agencies who applied –  is a real accomplishment for us.  I cannot stress enough the contribution that everyone at DJS Research makes towards our accomplishments, big and small, every day. We have a fantastic and committed team across every level of the business and this is only underlined by the successes we have had recently, including on this framework agreement.”

The available Lots were:

  • Lot 1 - Secondary Research
  • Lot 2 - Strategic Planning and Development
  • Lot 3 - Develop and Test Concepts for Communication Products and Services
  • Lot 4 - Performance/Reputation Audit and Customer/Stakeholder Satisfaction
  • Lot 5 - Communications Evaluation Research
  • Lot 6 - Research Support Services
  • Lot 7 - Panels
  • Lot 8.1 - Specialist Audiences, Young People
  • Lot 8.2 - Specialist Audiences, Language and Culture
  • Lot 8.3 - Specialist Audiences, Hidden Populations    

More than ten new team members...

We have increased in size and now operate with more than 50 permanent employees, as well as a national field force of more than 1000 interviewers, and our own in-house telephone unit with 60+ stations. 2014 has seen us expand the team across all areas of the business, including Research, Marketing and Communications, and Operations.DJS Research Ltd - Full Team

Now in its 4th year, the graduate scheme is still progressing successfully with Daniel Townshend and Callum McCulloch securing permanent roles, after successfully completing three-month training schemes. Both joined the Research department as Junior Research Executives and are undertaking the MRS Advanced Certificate to develop their knowledge of the industry.

In addition to graduate appointments, we have also expanded our research team across numerous levels. David Marchant, Rebecca Harris, Lian Nuttall, Matt Walker, George Telford and Emma Lay have all joined the research team, in roles varying from Junior Research Executive to Research Manager, and their wide-ranging skills provides a solid base for future growth in to new and established areas of expertise.
This growth in our core research offering is under-pinned by continued expansion of our Operations department and other supporting roles – including new additions in marketing and the growth of our executive support and finance team. Anthea Thompson’s arrival as the Operations Manager for Field Services has been followed by continued investment in staff for this important area of our offering, whilst Jules Schofield has taken up a permanent quality management role within our in-house CATI unit to ensure the highest levels of output across this methodology and to maintain our reputation for quick, accurate telephone market research projects. We have also added several new members of staff in our internal data processing and analysis unit, allowing us to deliver projects within short timescales.

Research carried out in more than 60 countries...

This year saw DJS Research successfully carry out research globally – in over 60 countries – including a Europe-wide study on behalf of the Home Office.International Market Research Agency

In 2014, we have put a focus on building strong partnerships in order for us to operate overseas, with a focus on France, Germany and China. These partnerships include working with other agencies to deliver elements of fieldwork, as well as end-clients based abroad and looking to carry out research in Europe and the UK.

Some of the highlights from international research projects this year include a multi-country study with teachers from 5 different continents on behalf of a major educational and cultural charity, work in hospitals across the world for one of our international medical clients and a number of multinational studies for one of the world’s largest chemicals companies – including research in Brazil, China, Russia and the United States, among others.

Charity and the community...

For the second consecutive year, DJS Research has chosen to support CLIC Sargent, the charity for children and young people with cancer, through our charity partnership scheme.

As a company, we have held a number of events this year in order to support the cause, including a visit from Sam, a CLIC Sargent service user who talked about the value of the charity’s work.

Fundraising activities have ranged from smaller events such as ad-hoc Bake-Offs and Halloween themed dress-ups, getting involved in national events such as Wig Wednesday, to more challenging commitments including a five kilometre swim (just less than three hours straight) by Liam Higgins and a member of staff climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in February. Elliot chose to fully-fund the climb himself, to ensure that all funds went directly to the charity, with DJS Research making a donation.

DJS Research Ltd - CLIC Sargent PartnershipAlongside our partnership with CLIC Sargent, we also support a range of other charities where possible, including the Cash for Kids’ Mission Christmas Appeal, MacMillan Cancer Care and the Market Research Benevolent Association, the industry charity.

Our work in both the local region and nationally also includes supporting other organisations without charitable status through a range of donations and pro bono research. This year, we have helped support a number of great causes, such as the Whaley Bridge Water Weekend, Whaley Bridge Fireworks, Friends of Strines Station, Teacher Support Network Group, Hillsboro’ Pumas Girls Football Team and the Prince’s Teaching Institute, through our education market research panel, VoicED.

Innovation and new offers...

In February, DJS Research launched its new population profiling and segmentation tool, Localise. The tool, which works at both regional and local levels, can be applied to both the public and the private sector.

Localise is different to other, high profile segmentation tools as it uses localised census data to create detailed and locally robust segmentation profiles for populations.

Alasdair Gleed, the Research Director heading up Localise at DJS Research, feels the tool offers something different in the market:

“For a long time, we have worked with numerous clients who appreciate the value that profiling can have but are frustrated by the limitations of tools which currently exist to do this. Localise solves these problems and should lead to a far more accurate, and thus more useable, set of profiling data for local areas.”

Multiple national press appearances...

This year, DJS Research has been covered in both national and industry press with features in The Guardian, in which our research has appeared and where we were shortlisted for Marketing and PR excellence, Utilities Week, the BBC and GovToday among others. As well as this, VoicED, our education market research consultancy, has received coverage in The I and the Times Educational Supplement, for research carried out on behalf of The Teacher Support Network, as well as being invited to judge the education category of the 2014 UK Blog Awards and regularly writing for key online sector publications.DJS Research Ltd - Press 2014

As well as print and online media, Alasdair Gleed and DJS Research, were also featured on Prolific North News, where Alasdair gave a video interview about the success of DJS Research and how it has succeeded through the recession, as well as being asked to take part in a webinar in relation to equality and diversity within the NHS.

2015 and the future...

We have big plans for 2015. VoicED, our education market research panel, is already showing signs of growth, and some internal re-structuring should lead to a more concerted effort to promote these services, both to end-clients, other research agencies and teachers and the wider education sector.

Our team will continue to grow – we’re currently recruiting for more than ten separate positions, from experienced all-round researchers to individuals with sector-specific knowledge, and from graduate Data Analysts to Associate Directors. We understand that our people are our most valuable resource, and we are looking for the best – if you’re passionate about research, feel free to check out our careers page.

With a growing team comes increased pressure on space, and thus we will be making even more changes to our offices in the Peak District – adding additional meeting rooms and fitting a range of technology to aid long-distance meetings and support the environment. In the same vein, we’re also working with Enworks, a body of the European Regional Development fund, in order to improve our impact on the environment and ensure we continue to do business responsibly.


To conclude, 2014 has been a year of rapid internal growth as well as expansion within the business and in terms of where we operate within the world. We would like to thank our partners, those who commissioned us for research and our respondents, we are aware that without their support we would not have been able to grow as a company, at the rate which we have done this year.

We have thoroughly enjoyed working with all of our contacts this year and are looking forward to working with them again in 2015, as well as meeting new ones.

All of us at DJS Research would like to wish you a happy festive period and all the best for the New Year!

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