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Gamma Science

Case-Study BVA-BDRC

The Relationship

Gamma Science have been involved with BVA/BDRC for getting on for a decade now, and we are beginning to see some of the early systems we worked on being evolved into an exciting next generation platform, which will transform the business.


We interviewed BVA/BDRC Director James Bland about the new wave of projects Gamma Science are undertaking for the international consumer and business insight consultancy.


One of the things we really appreciate about Gamma Science is their creativity and positivity. There’s no ‘Plumber Syndrome’, no “Oh we can’t do THAT!” Instead, I get the impression that they are generally excited by the challenge. They have a certain sort of curiosity that is increasingly hard to find.


We use them when we need someone to come up with a creative way to do something that I think is impossible. I can’t imagine any problem Roger and Paul couldn’t potentially think of an answer for.”


The Challenge

It’s a competitive market, and there are loads and loads of online survey tools available on a subscription model, but BVA/ BDRC wanted something different. They wanted something they could build on, and scale, without significant internal cost, to plug into databases they could maintain and configure themselves, and share across different clients and markets on an international level.


Gamma Science had already started to design such a system, that they called PSE, specific to the industry.


Gamma Science works to an Agile model, with incremental development phases that add value almost immediately, as part of a wider system, so we are going to focus on an early stage of the current project, with features brought forward to deal with an urgent need that arose from the covid crisis.


The end client was a group of well known visitor attractions, offering very different experiences, from theme parks to heritage attractions, but all competing for the same limited family leisure budget. They needed a survey that could measure both the commonality and differences between the attractions, allowing benchmarking, but adaptable enough to meet different clients’ individual information needs as well. To make it adaptable and scaleable as well was a tall order for a single system.


The Implementation

When COVID 19 hit, and everything in the leisure industry changed over night. The agile process enabled the development plan to be ‘rejigged’ with the new priorities.


Fortunately BVA/BDRC had the foresight to see lockdown as an opportunity in disguise, knowing that their customers would face a very different market for the forseeable future. It was essential to pivot, and be agile, so Gamma Science’s capability for creative fusion was needed., to provide an alternative to the traditional face to face, paper-based questionnaire, beloved by the client.


With returning visitors highly reluctant to complete face to face interviews Gamma Science was able to come up with the goods, by leveraging the technology in the customers pocket, their mobile phones, using QR and NFC codes (link to blog entry) to enable the customer to access the surveys driectly on there mobile, or get a link emailed to the to self-complete when they had a better connection.


As James says “It did the job”. There were a few teething problems, with patchy mobile connectivity and speed issues, which we were able to overcome, but it allowed the company to collect data, and kept BVA/ BDRC meeting the needs of their clients though a difficult time. “It also allowed any number of people to come up without being invited, so now we have, if anything, more data, including some from groups of people we would not have accessed by the traditional methods.” said James.


Looking to the Future

James was most excited by the potential to expand the range of surveys available to clients cost effectively.


More recently Gamma Science have been collaborating with a BVA/BDRC team in Toulouse to integrate PSE with a company wide initiative.


With Gamma Science’s previous experience in international cooperation, on another project, the teams communicate very well, and are producing a creative synergy that is greater than the sum of it’s parts.


In the fullness of time, PSE will be great!, said James. “We can create limitless permutations, and craft benchmarks to order.


The system’s potential has given us a platform to build capabilities and tackle problems inherited from the Legacy System that Gamma Science first became involved in as extra resource, all those years ago, and inherited when the initial developers could not cope with the project.”


This kind of creative collaborative synergy, developed over time, adding value to the clients' business at every step is a great example of what Gamma Science is all about.