Market research is extremely important; for example, it can show us where there are opportunities for developing a product for students; it can provide an evidence base on which to build a campaign or a response; it can increase our knowledge of a certain area; it can build our understanding of how best to communicate with students or our students’ union members. And NUS Insight has vast experience of working in these areas.

Across 2020/21  NUS Insight is responsible for three overarching research projects: 

•    Biannual TOTUM satisfaction for OneVoice Digital
•    Annual Brand Tracker research (Drinks, Retail, Food) for NUS Charity
•    Termly Covid Research for NUS, NUS Charity, TOTUM and other partners.

In addition, NUS Insight is supporting the Membership and Union Development teams in the delivery of their annual data collections of key student union information, previously known as the Students’ Union Survey and Membership Survey. These pieces of work are being adapted to better reflect the needs of members and will provide useful benchmarking data for students’ unions and NUS to measure their annual progress and performance.

The team also delivers work for public sector, not for profit and commercial clients interested in the views of students via our regular student opinion surveys and bespoke studies.
TOTUM satisfaction survey
Each year NUS Insight carry out the TOTUM Satisfaction Survey to help OneVoice Digital stay informed about how subscribers feel about the services they offer and any potential improvements to the product and its offers. The Insight team work with TOTUM to develop an online survey that we then send out to a sample of TOTUM subscribers. The Insight Team manage the entire process from methodology design, data collection, analysis, reporting and debriefing.

Coronavirus and students survey 
This survey was commissioned by NUS Charity, NUS UK and TOTUM to understand the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on students across the UK, exploring the initial concerns and challenges students faced in March 2020 and subsequently in July as they considered returning to campuses in the new academic year. This survey is now being undertaken each term while the pandemic continues, providing valuable insight for NUS, students’ unions, the education sector and government on student experiences. These reports have informed NUS campaigns and institution approaches to support for students, as well as discussions with sector authorities and government. NUS Insight manages the whole process working with NUS staff and partners. You can find out more about these surveys and other studies in NUS and NUS Insight reports

Brand Trackers Research
Each year we run three surveys looking at student behaviour and opinions about brands and service on campuses:

•    Retail
•    Drinks
•    Food.

These are known as the Brand Tracker Surveys, and are an annual study on lifestyles, behaviours, purchase intentions and the competitive landscape for commercial services within retailing, food, to go, coffee, catering and licensed trade.  The data collected enables NUS Trading Support to track changes in trends with product categories, as well as by product, and are part of the suite of information and data we use to inform planning, in particular stocking decisions and programme enhancements, developments and promotions.  These trackers are also available to members as part of a suite of tools to help members to develop and plan strategic change within their commercial operations.  The results of these surveys are shared with members of the NUS purchasing consortium at the NUS Convention and Trade Show.