Advanis was founded by an MBA student and two of his marketing professors at the University of Alberta business school: our President Michael Williams, Dr. Joffre Swait, and Dr. Jordan Louviere. Back in 1990, the three identified a market (including many Tier 1 management consulting firms) for experimental design and model estimation software to enable sophisticated discrete choice experiments. Given our "origin story", perhaps it is not surprising that we have had ongoing ties with academic institutions across Canada over our thirty-year history.
From our earliest days, we've built ongoing relationships with professors and graduate students to support their research involving complex experimental designs and models for discrete choice experiments. In the early 90s, after we added the ability to recruit study participants and collect survey data—both via the phone and online (aside: Advanis was one of the first market research firms in the world to be able to field Web surveys)—academics turned to Advanis to program their complex surveys, help pre-test their experiments, and implement their demanding sampling plans.
Beyond research engagements, Advanis has developed relationships with universities and colleges to help educate the next generation of market and social researchers and promote the industry. Our consultants have been full course lecturers as well as guest speakers in marketing research programs. We’ve provided real-world examples of advanced modeling techniques in transportation demand modeling classes. We’ve raised awareness of marketing research as a career opportunity to those majoring in statistics and psychology. We’ve even played road hockey and participated in virtual “career speed dating” networking events. Already in 2022, we’ve spoken with classes at the University of Toronto, MacEwan University in Edmonton, and Algonquin College in Ottawa.
Our academic links extend to providing students with practical experience. Not only do we provide summer and co-op work experience positions to business and computing students, we also work with professors who include applied learning opportunities. For some classes, we advise a group of students on questionnaire design and provide free access to our cross-Canada data collection so they can hone their research skills. This is one example, of work generated by MacEwan students in 2021. For other students, we act as “the client”, providing a business problem and data set (from one of our self-sponsored studies like these), so the students can gain analytical and “consulting” experience.
Advanis wouldn’t exist without the highly-skilled, well-educated workforce that our Canadian universities and colleges generate, and we are fortunate to work with many of these excellent schools even after the hiring process ends.
If you’re at an academic institution and you see value in a partnership opportunity with Advanis, please contact Gary Offenberger.