How do you simplify complex research methods with smart programming language?

BVFA/ABAF is a centre of expertise for financial professionals in Belgium. It gathers relevant facts for investment experts so they can better inform investors, organises training courses, and represents Belgium within international analyst associations.




Translate complex survey options for the BVFA/ABAF Awards into simple programming language


Efficient collection and processing of data using Marigold Engage Marketing Cloud

For more than 60 years, BVFA/ABAF has been screening the communication of Belgian listed companies with the financial community in general and with financial analysts in particular. Both day-to-day communication (e.g. press releases) and permanent information tools (e.g. website) are covered.

The assessment of each company — some 50 in total — is done through a comprehensive survey, divided into several categories. More than 50 mainly local analysts participate in this exercise. The results of the survey form the basis for the annual Awards event, during which the "Award for Best Financial Communication" is presented to the company with the highest scores. Quite the challenge, for which iO sought and found the perfect solution.

From 200+ surveys to one

BVFA/ABAF's question was complex, as not every respondent had to answer the same questions. In short, analysis revealed that we had to take into account the presence of a 'horizontal' and 'vertical' structure. Horizontal analysts received fewer questions but had to assess more companies. Vertical analysts received more questions per survey but had to assess fewer companies.

To avoid having to send out dozens of different surveys, we looked for a tool that would streamline one survey and automatically link the right questions and companies to the right analysts. We found the solution in Marigold Engage Marketing Cloud.

Personal and step-by-step

Each analyst was invited to participate in the survey through email. This e-invitation was sent through Marigold Engage and led the respondent to a landing page. The landing page was home to an explanation of the survey, and participants could click through to their personal profile, where they would find all the surveys they had been invited to assess.

Since each analyst had to carry out thorough research to answer all the questions, it was impossible for them to complete the surveys in a single session. That’s why we provided the option to complete each survey step by step and in the users own pace. As long as a survey was not marked as complete, the respondents could come return to it later and edit the answers.

And then … scoring points

Once all surveys were completed – and closed – the processing of the scores began. The calculation was done using one large specifically developed 'Stored Procedure' (Structured Query Language) and worked with several intermediate calculations to get a correct end result.

The difficulty of the quotas lay mainly in the specifications of the analysts and the companies that they were linked to. To simplify the score calculation, we implemented business rules where necessary.

For example, an analyst is assigned one company (or multiple companies) with a specific 'company type'. They must then assess these companies for a certain 'score category'. The correlation between the data had to be always present to obtain an accurate and correct result.

Dedicated dashboard for reporting

Through a personalised URL, we gave BVFA/ABAF employees access to a dedicated dashboard. Here, they had an overview of how many analysts had already completed the surveys, which simplified the follow-up work required by BVFA/ABAF.

After all results were processed, the dashboard made per company reports available to download in PDF that displayed the ranking of every participating company, with the potential to highlight a specific company.

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