The research institute's staff use Dropbox Business to securely collaborate on sensitive research documents from anywhere.

Ehrenberg-Bass, a research institute

Ehrenberg-Bass's Key Results

Increased privacy around individual projects

Easier sharing for users in different locations

Greater safefy over archive for active and completed projects

The Challenge

Early adoption

With a team of trend-spotters leading its charge, it’s no surprise that Ehrenberg- Bass dove into the online file storage arena as soon as it could. Upon learning about Dropbox Business, Director and Professor Byron Sharp made the executive decision to migrate staff members from on-site servers to Dropbox Business. Although not every Ehrenberg-Bass employee was familiar with Dropbox, all it took was a short presentation by Sharp to bring everyone up to speed. Sixty-five users got set up with the Ehrenberg-Bass Dropbox Business account, and immediately began storing and sharing research projects, data, and teaching materials. Manager of Market Research Kirsty Willis remembers, “The transition was really easy. We joined up, put some files in Dropbox, and people started sharing information right away. We didn’t need to put files on the server anymore.”

“When we collect data, it goes in a Dropbox folder. When we write a report or proposal, it goes there, too. That way, anyone on the project’s team can go to Dropbox and just grab what they need.”

Kirsty Willis, Manager of Market Research, Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science

The Solution

Shifts in behavior

Many Ehrenberg-Bass master file templates — such as those used for business proposals — reside in Dropbox, so it’s often the starting point for professors, honor students, and other employees when they set out on new projects. Once a project is initiated, its team will use Dropbox Business to store data, share pertinent files, and consolidate team members’ input. As Willis explains, “When we collect data, it goes in a Dropbox folder. When we write a report or proposal, it goes there, too. That way, anyone on the project’s team can go to Dropbox and just grab what they need.” Each project is typically managed by just a handful of people, but often project participants choose to work outside of the office — which makes Dropbox Business a valuable asset. “With a lot of people working remotely, it’s good that we can just get into Dropbox really simply,” adds Willis. After projects are completed, it’s not uncommon for team members to write papers or journal articles to publish their research findings. Research and related conclusions are also frequently used in the thesis work of the university’s graduate students. Some Ehrenberg-Bass staff members have even written market research textbooks with their findings. In the case of each post-research project, Dropbox Business is used to organize files throughout the development process. According to Willis, “It’s nice because Dropbox offers more privacy than a server. People can control who has access to their files when they’re working on individual projects.” In addition to relying on Dropbox Business during research and reporting, the team at Ehrenberg-Bass also uses Dropbox to keep marketing materials in order. When the organization needs to advertise for new clients or corporate sponsors, it can simply access or add to its marketing file library in Dropbox.

“It’s nice because Dropbox Business offers more privacy than a server. People can control who has access to their files when they’re working on individual projects.”

Kirsty Willis, Manager of Market Research, Ehrenberg-Bass Institute for Marketing Science

The Results

Sharing experiences, worldwide

Because Ehrenberg-Bass staff members store so much critically important data in Dropbox — and often refer back to previous research reports when working on projects with similar subject matter — one of the features they value most is the ability to protect files from deletion. “We definitely wouldn’t want to delete any folders we’ve created,” says Willis. “We want to keep everything in Dropbox a long time.” The organization experienced the power of Dropbox Business file retrieval firsthand when someone accidentally deleted a folder that held “a massive amount of work.” Willis remembers, “We were all sitting in a meeting and suddenly realized the high research degree folder had been deleted. It was pretty cool that we could track back to find out who did it — and of course it was great that we got all the files back!” With convenient storage and sharing in place, and continuous peace of mind about the safety of its files, Ehrenberg-Bass is happy it adopted early and moved its data into Dropbox. As Willis says, “I would definitely recommend Dropbox Business as a way of backing up pretty much anything you want to keep secure and accessible.”

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