Business challenge

Market research consultancy CJM Research wanted to pinpoint the factors that drive customer satisfaction, loyalty and value for its clients, without investing in complex, expensive statistical tools.


With IBM® Watson Analytics™, CJM Research can apply advanced analytics techniques to client data quickly and easily, pinpointing the key factors that drive positive or negative customer experiences.



complex analytics, revealing key drivers of customer satisfaction quickly


recommendations that help clients boost customer experience, loyalty and revenue


CJM Research’s reputation and strengthens relationships with clients

Business challenge story

Understanding what makes a difference

Market research can reveal some surprising insights into a company’s client base and the customer experience. But how do you decide which of these insights are important enough to warrant changes in the way you operate? For market research consultancy CJM Research, discovering the most influential drivers of customer satisfaction became a key priority.

Callum MacKinnon, Owner of CJM Research, explains: “Through customer experience surveys, focus groups and workshops we can collect a wealth of information on every facet of the customer journey and experience. With so much data to hand, the challenge is to decide which relationships are important in driving customer satisfaction, loyalty and revenues, and should be prioritised for action, and which are purely coincidental and can safely be ignored.”

CJM Research understood the answer lay in regression analysis, a statistical technique that is used to estimate the importance of relationships between multiple variables. By investigating how dependent variables (such as satisfaction or willingness to recommend) change when a single independent variable is changed while other independent variables are held constant, it can be used—with caution—to infer causal relationships. However, traditional tools for regression analysis did not appeal to the company.

“Although we have provided correlation-based analysis for some time, regression analysis was a totally different prospect,” comments MacKinnon. “Most of the tools available are very expensive and call for specialist skills and experience to use them. Moreover, the outputs are generally at a level that is far more complex than our clients generally need or want.

“We were looking for a solution that could both simplify the regression analysis process, and help us boil down the results into a small, easily understood set of recommendations for our clients to act upon. Our focus is always on helping our clients understand and act on the results.”

With IBM Watson Analytics, we can help our clients keep their customers coming back for more, boosting loyalty and ultimately revenues.

Callum MacKinnon, Owner, CJM Research

Transformation story

Removing barriers

CJM Research quickly became interested in IBM Watson Analytics, a cognitive data discovery service that makes advanced analytics accessible to virtually anyone—regardless of their level of statistics and programming knowledge.

“We discovered IBM Watson Analytics when we were looking for a regression analysis tool that was both easy to use and not too expensive, and realised immediately that it was exactly the solution we were looking for,” says MacKinnon. “Since then, it has become an integral part of our analysis process.”

Using Watson Analytics, CJM Research analyses data from customer satisfaction and experience surveys to investigate how overall customer satisfaction and loyalty is determined. The company uses these insights to deliver evidence-based recommendations to clients about how to fine-tune their operations for maximum impact on the customer experience.

“Within minutes, I can turn client data into an easy-to-understand diagram of predictors that tells me the top factors that have the largest impact in predicting higher customer satisfaction, loyalty or even spend,” elaborates MacKinnon. “Many of our clients view statistical analysis as a dark art: they do not want us to present them with complicated charts and tables. With Watson Analytics, we can rapidly provide simple, effective proposals about where they should make changes.”

Insights in action

CJM Research is using its new capabilities to uncover unexpected insights into the customer experience for a range of clients.

MacKinnon says: “For a children’s soft play company, we discovered customer perceptions of safety and the children having fun were the most significant predictors of overall satisfaction, equating to an overall predictor of 72.4 percent. This predictor is in turn influenced by staff being visible, and younger and older children being separated and the variety of things to do. Gaining this insight helped our client improve their customer service levels and, ultimately, raise satisfaction and loyalty.

“For a national retailer we discovered that when staff proactively interacted with customers and offered helpful advice the average spend per visit was over GBP 17 higher than other customers. As a result, we were able to demonstrate just how important it is that employees are trained to make effective contact with customers.”

The solution is also playing dividends for CJM Research’s B2B clients, as MacKinnon explains: “One of our clients asked us to find out why their customers were reporting that customer service levels were declining. Using Watson Analytics, we were able to quickly discover the underlying reason: the company had recently transferred account management responsibilities from senior to junior managers, and this had led to a reduction in the amount of personal contact customers received.

“By offering new account managers additional training and setting expectations with customers, the client was able to take action to restore satisfaction before the issue became a real problem.”

Results story

Building a stellar reputation

By uncovering the keys to customer satisfaction, the IBM solution helps CJM Research deliver greater value to its clients.

“With IBM Watson Analytics, we can identify relatively simple changes for our clients that produce big results when it comes to improving our clients’ relationships with their customers,” remarks MacKinnon. “And in doing so, we help them keep their customers coming back for more, boosting loyalty and ultimately revenues. We have already achieved big results for clients, helping one improve the proportion of customers totally satisfied from 36 percent to 56 percent, and raising overall satisfaction to 96 percent.”

By bringing specialist analytics capabilities within reach, the solution enables CJM Research to extend its offering to clients without significant expenditure on high-cost technology and skills.

MacKinnon says: “IBM Watson Analytics is the ideal entry point for both basic and more complex statistical analysis tasks. It has enabled me to harness techniques more quickly than might have been the case with a traditional analytics package, and even for people with no statistics background at all, it could be a gateway to understanding the story the data is telling them. It is easy to use and produces visually appealing, compelling results that anyone can understand, turning answers into insight.”

With a new dimension to its services, CJM Research is building on already positive client relationships to enhance its standing in the market research consultancy space.

MacKinnon concludes: “If I didn’t believe in IBM Watson Analytics and the value it can offer my clients, I would not stake my reputation on its use. It has proven to be a great tool, and it is enhancing our reputation for taking our clients’ businesses to the next level.”


About CJM Research

CJM Research is a full-service market research consultancy based in Glasgow, UK. Formed in 2007, the company aims to help its clients make better decisions by providing a broad range of quantitative and qualitative consultancy services.

Solution components

  • Cognos Analytics

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