NBRI History

NBRI History

The Survey Research Industry was made possible by a major discovery in the early 1980's.

While conducting interviews of employees and customers, NBRI Organizational Psychologists discovered recurring themes which are universal across all companies, whether they are in manufacturing, retail, finance, agriculture, or any other industry.  Today, these dynamics are simply called ‘topics,’ such as Management Style, Communications, Culture, Satisfaction, Engagement, etc. for employees; or, Friendliness, Helpfulness, Wait Time, Satisfaction, Intent to Recommend or Return, etc. for customers.

This put NBRI in a unique position to write survey questions to assess specific attributes of each topic, and today, these standardized, normative (“normal”) survey questions have been tested on millions of people, and are used worldwide in employee and customer research.  Today, the principles of scientific, psychological research that led to these discoveries and the founding of our industry are called ClearPath Research.

The importance of establishing a database of commonly used topics and questions cannot be overstated because it is the differences in scores on identical questions from similar people that represent each organization’s expression of itself, which of course, is the entire purpose of surveying.

Once organizations began using the same topics and questions, NBRI became the first research organization with the ability to benchmark each Client’s employee and customer performance against their industry, another essential innovation for the Survey Research Industry.  Consider trying to make an assessment of a concrete concept, such as ‘weight.’  In order to assess the meaning of one’s weight score, it must be compared to the weight scores of other people.  If one weighs 150 lbs., it may be heavy for someone 5 feet tall, but light for someone 6 feet tall.  It may be heavy for a female, and light for a male.  It may be heavy for an Asian, but light for an Anglo.  Without data from other similar people, one has no way of judging the meaning of the score, whether it is high or low, good or bad.

Once enough comparison data has been obtained, one can establish a scale that truly represents reality.  This is precisely what NBRI achieved with psychological data from employees and customers.  “Norms,” “normative data,” or “benchmarking data” (used interchangeably) represent the full range of possible scores for each survey question on a standardized scale of 1 to 100.  And since the data is segregated by industry, Clients’ employee and customer scores are compared with the scores of others who are like them.  To date, over 10.5 billion individual scores make up ClearPath Benchmarking, segregated by survey question, and each survey question segregated by virtually every vertical market.

About 25 years ago, NBRI Clients began asking us what they should do with their data.  Clearly, their management teams could consider the low-scoring items, debate and defend which should be addressed, consider the costs associated with each, and hope to select the ones that would result in the greatest amount of improvement in the shortest amount of time, but that took months while the data aged and rarely worked without employee support.  So NBRI Organizational Psychologists and Statisticians developed the Root Cause Analysis, which today is called ClearPath Analytics, and coupled with ClearPath Action, created what is today a Best Practice Process for responding to survey data and maximizing returns on investments.

The proud, rich history of NBRI is reflected in our Clients’ satisfaction, willingness to recommend us, and intent to return to NBRI, which are the drivers of our financial success.  Likewise, for years to come, the purity and integrity of our products and services will continue to improve the employee and customer dynamics that drive the financial success of our valued Clients.