Brand, reputation, strategic planning
"Further to a series of mergers, the enlarged New City College needed to step back and review how the Group is seen by its key stakeholders. Chalkstream engaged with senior staff and governors to develop the scope of the work, which involved a range of research methods across stakeholder groups.
"From the initial contact, Chalkstream understood our needs and worked with us to develop and enhance the brief and scope of the project. Our timescale was tight. Ben kept us to task with regular contact and reminders of what we needed to do, while the team at Chalkstream worked through the different stages of the project. We worked well together, taking comment and suggestions from both side as the project progressed to make sure of the most valuable outcome possible.
"Chalkstream gave us some rich and powerful feedback, that has been used directly to shape New City College's strategic priorities, vision and values."
Ruth Lomax, Group Director, Communications and Marketing
"Chalkstream conducted a review of our brands in the market. They performed exceptionally well, the research was through and presented in such away that was useful to both the executive and trustees in making strategic decisions about our brands in the market place.
"The organisation has been able to make well informed decisions about the future of its brands in the market place."
Paul Eeles, Chief Executive, Skills and Education Group
"We used Chalkstream for a reputational analysis project post college merger. Chalkstream were fantastic, they handled changes in timeline and data from our side with the utmost professionalism.
They delivered a number of thorough reports with detailed analytics as well as quick-read summaries. This has been incredibly insightful and we used some of the finding instantly and are continuing to do so in all of our recruitment activities."
Jane Golds, Head of Marketing and Communications, Havant and South Downs College
“The process they followed was very thorough...The project team was made up of experienced researchers and seasoned analysts – who were able to advise us on the best route to take at every stage.
“The outcomes of the research were very useful and informative...Chalkstream produced tailored versions [of reports] for each of our businesses – providing each managing director with rich verbatim responses from a sample of their main customers. The reports also provided a list of potential leads who had expressed interest in finding out more about our other products and services.
“The research highlighted some key challenges and opportunities for us to explore as part of our future planning process. And, it has provided clear benchmark values for us to measure future waves of research against – which I will definitely be approaching Chalkstream to follow up.”
Nicola Palin, Head of Group Brand, City & Guilds Group
Improving institute and membership association intelligence and services
“Chalkstream accepted a brief to provide research that would clarify key questions of population in the PR sector where the definition of practice is not entirely straightforward. As a client, they engaged with us in the development of a methodology that offered a robust set of data. The whole project was clearly understood, sensitively and effectively handled from the start. We were very pleased with the outcome.”
Phil Morgan, Deputy CEO, Chartered Institute Of Public Relations
"Chalkstream performed very well; on time and to a high standard. We were pleased with the advice we got in advance of launching the survey and with the final report.
"[Chalkstream's study] provides us with industry data on the trends, issues and challenges impacting public relations so we can benchmark standards and spotlighted stories that guide our work as well as insights into our commercial offerings to help us improve our member service."
Jon Gerlis, Public Relations and Policy Manager, Chartered Institute of Public Relations
"I recently worked with Chalkstream for an employee and customer research project to inform our customer experience delivery. The project was to a tight deadline and required some challenging respondent recruitment. The analysis was also quite complex and needed to draw from both the primary research and other sources to tell a clear story back to the business. Ben and David were excellent – professional, thoughtful, thorough and produce high quality outputs that have proven very useful since the project completion. I have already recommended Chalkstream to my colleagues, and I’m pleased that are continuing to provide an excellent research service to different parts of our business."
Shuba Krishnan, Customer Experience and Insight Manager, City & Guilds
"We required a Customer Satisfaction Survey to inform a benchmark on where we stand and what improvements are required, with a view of this being ongoing and run on at least an annual basis. Chalkstream were great. Ben provided clear advice and guidance for us to be able to achieve our requirements in a succinct and punchy survey and worked within tight timescales to ensure the survey was available to meet our needs. The survey provided us with some fantastic positive feedback, whilst giving some very clear indicators on areas that need some work, which is exactly what we required. Job well done – thank you!"
Ellie Heath, Customer Excellence Manager, Gateway Qualifications
“Chalkstream are highly knowledgeable, professional and organised. They very quickly understood our organisation’s needs, and navigated complex issues in order to gather extremely useful insight across different stakeholders that will support our future business planning. The team produce great results and we really enjoyed working with them.”
Ellie Russell, Student Engagement Partnership Manager, The Student Engagement Partnership
"Chalkstream are highly professional and a delight to work with. They have provided us with solutions which have made a real impact on our business going forward."
Paul Eeles, Chief Executive ABC Awards, part of the EMFEC Group
"Chalkstream interpreted our brief exceptionally well and delivered a series of comprehensive reports under challenging conditions. They demonstrated an understanding of our market that far exceeds any other research organisation we have commissioned."
Carol Snape, CEO, Gateway Qualifications
Curriculum planning, market share
“Chalkstream were engaged to provide detailed research in support of our plans for the development of a London Aerospace and Technology College at London Biggin Hill Airport in the South East of England. We thought we knew what was needed but wanted the data to support it. Chalkstream took the brief and interpreted it expertly, providing us with guidance from his experience along the way.
"We are extremely pleased with the outputs generated, some of which have transformed our thinking and are informing our employer responsive programmes and curriculum planning. A number of unexpected additional benefits including sponsorship offers have been clearly gathered and reported on. The final presentation and face to face summary were an excellent way to wrap up the project."
Louise Wolsey, Group Executive Director Strategy, Communications & Organisational Development, London South East Colleges
"Chalkstream delivered market share, labour market and competitor course intelligence to inform curriculum planning teams across the college. They were really quick to understand the brief and provided useful insights in helping to clarify the detail of what we required. They delivered everything we asked for and to a tight deadline. We were very impressed with their performance."
Paul O'Shea, Head of Marketing and Student Services, College of West Anglia
"Lambeth College worked with Chalkstream to produce bespoke curriculum reports for all of its areas of delivery. These reports gave curriculum leads the opportunity to understand their market data without having to interrogate significant numbers of charts, tables and spreadsheets. Chalkstream delivered high-quality reports that we would not have had time to create ourselves, which in-turn has enabled strategic decision making regarding our curriculum delivery for the next academic year.
"I would certainly recommend Chalkstream to other FE colleges as their reports raised the profile of understanding our local market and has supported data led decision making at all levels."
Katherine McCormack, Head of Marketing, Lambeth College
“Chalkstream possess the ability to break down a set of complex challenges into measurable objectives. We found their research into our Adult Education market valuable in informing our market segmentation and recruitment strategies. They delivered clear recommendations, backed by examples and we were particularly impressed with their excellent communication throughout the project.”
Suna Marfé, Head of Marketing Recruitment and Admissions, South Thames Colleges Group
"Another excellent piece of research presented to us today from Chalkstream. Thorough but presented with clarity & simplicity, this time on A-levels in Northamptonshire. Impressive as always."
Ian Pryce, CEO, Bedford College Group
“We asked Chalkstream to conduct some research for us in the FE college sector. As an awarding body, its essential for us at CTH to develop our qualifications to be in tune with colleges and what learners require. It’s been a pleasure to work with Ben and the Chalkstream team. The outcome is insightful, very well-presented and clearly conducted by people that know what they are talking about."
Steve Beckworth, Director of Marketing and Business Development, Confederation of Tourism and Hospitality
“Chalkstream clearly detailed the methodology and approach they planned to take, along with timescales, right from the offset, so it was easy to follow the progress of the project. Because they are able to access such as wide range of secondary reports, which are not always in the public domain, and drew on their past experiences of working on similar projects, we really benefited from this in terms of extending the scope of the project and how it should be structured to get the best results.
“The results clearly identified what we need to do to improve and grow our apprenticeship provision. What we particularly liked was that it provided us with recommendations - when we have worked with other agencies, we’ve just been sent the results and have had to spend time analysing them to draw our own conclusions. This saved us a lot of time and because the recommendations were presented by Chalkstream to the senior management team, that SMT now has a clear understanding of what now needs to be done.”
Sarah Baxter, Director of Marketing and Business Development, Bedford College
Student recruitment and stakeholder engagement
"We engaged Chalkstream to support us with a number of research projects as we looked to enhance our recruitment processes and review our transport and community engagement strategies.
"Right from the start of the project, Chalkstream were an active part of forming the brief, working with us to understand what insight was required before suggestion the research methodology to deliver it.
"One of the huge benefits with Chalkstream is the fantastic knowledge of the FE sector. This knowledge helps to contextualise the research, something that is key to identifying what is surprising but actually pretty normal, or specific to us.
"Another key element is their ability to break down the data to deliver insight to senior leadership. This helps to ensure that the results are embedded into our strategy across the college rather than just being a nice set of data developed by the marketing function."
Lee Parker, Director of Marketing and Communications, Milton Keynes College
"The Chalkstream team worked with Lewisham Southwark College on pre-enrolled students and 42-day enrolled students in late 2016. We had a very complex and difficult student records system, but by working with our MIS team they were able to successfully extract meaningful data that could then be used to assist, through their analysis, with business objectives. We’ve booked them in to complete the work again this year, as we found it invaluable informing us on our admissions processes and how we can better our marketing efforts."
Sonia Furley, Head of Student Recruitment and Marketing, Lewisham Southwark College
“Ben and the team have delivered a really insightful set of results about why students chose not to enrol at Kirklees College. [Chalkstream] communicated well throughout the process, taking a detailed brief and developing an understanding of our existing and anticipated responses before drafting the project plan. Once we signed the plan off, the turnaround was impressive and all within my tight deadlines!”
Lucy Davies, Head of Marketing and PR, Kirklees College
“Chalkstream were commissioned to undertake a reputation review amongst key stakeholders for the college. Their balance of qualitative and quantitative research work, together with a detailed contextual review allowed them gather a wealth of information. They produced an excellent and invaluable report that clearly sets out the views of stakeholders and provides a series of recommendations that will help us improve our communications activities. Chalkstream’s detailed knowledge of the education sector enabled them to benchmark the College’s performance and this was another important consideration for us.”
CEO and Principal, large London college
Higher level skills
“Chalkstream were commissioned to undertake an important piece of research on behalf of London Capital Colleges. Regular up-dates were given in the form of reports and presentations and the many strands including; stakeholder interviews, employer interviews, desktop and empirical research, culminated in the production of a paper/ ‘think piece’ and a round table discussion with key stakeholder within the skills sector in London.”
“The project was completed to time and budget and was produced to a high standard.”
Sue Rimmer, Chair of London Capital Colleges Group
"Chalkstream managed our 2015 membership survey and were professional and responsive throughout. Their understanding of the education sector brought valuable insight to the project and their reporting was thorough, clear and useful."
Sara Gadzik, Strategy and Communications Director, Association of School and College Leaders
"The project exceeded its goals with excellent results, which have helped the college to consider how to approach progression on an ongoing basis. The team added huge value by proactively applying their expertise in policy and analysis to solve the brief and produce insightful and positive outcomes."
Chris Wright, Vice Principal, South Thames College