ARDC undertook its Nectar Research Cloud user survey during November 2020. As per previous years the survey was based on using the Net Promoter Score system and again this year we asked additional questions pertaining to some of the Nectar Research Cloud services and usage of the Nectar Research Cloud. The survey was constructed and managed using UQ’s online survey tool Qualtrics. Invitations were sent to 3,050 active users (active users are defined as users that are attached to an allocation that has launched an instance in the last 12 months) of the Nectar Research Cloud, with 348 survey responses received (11% response rate). There were a total of 28 (8%) detractors , 105 (30%) passives, and 215 (62%) promoters, resulting in a Net Promoter Score (NPS) of 54, on a possible scale of -100 to +100. This indicates that the Nectar Research Cloud is viewed positively with an excellent level of satisfaction amongst responders but sees a very slight drop in the NPS from last year’s score of 55.

There were some common themes that emerged from the survey responses for the Nectar Research Cloud to improve upon that were similar to previous surveys. 27 detractor comments were received explaining why the responders gave their rating. Not all detractor comments were negative. Common themes for reason for Passive and Promoter NPS rating were usability, general service, user support, reliability/performance and functionality. The majority of detractor comments ranged across usability, user support, reliability/performance, cost and functionality.

This year we asked users to select from a list of what they were using the Nectar Research Cloud for and the highest number of responses for this question was for running services to support research followed by Data Analysis. 

Of those users that responded that they were using the Database Service, Application Catalog and the Container Orchestration Service the large majority of users reported that the services were reliable.

We also asked users which new services that we are planning to implement would they be interested in using. The highest number of responses received were for Jupyter notebook services followed closely by GPUs then Virtual Desktop Interface and Simpler Container Service respectively.


Based on the survey responses, it is recommended that ARDC consider:

  1. Continuing a programme of user surveys utilising NPS to track the  Nectar Research Cloud’s NPS score over time and to collect valuable feedback to drive continuous improvement, enhance services and develop new functionality. Additional questions that focus on specific aspects of services to inform service performance, improvement and development are useful to continue. 

  2. Continue to implement improvements to improve the ease of use of services and develop mechanisms to minimise the technical barrier to entry.

  3. Review, update and improve getting started and setting up a VM support material.

  4. Make access to user support more prominent from the dashboard. 

  5. Offer security training as 64% of respondents advised they would be interested in attending training to develop their security knowledge.

  6. Review and update support documentation for the Container Orchestration Service with the goal of making it simpler to follow.

  7. Update the rstudio application catalogue image to allow certbot to enforce HTTPS, instead of allowing both HTTP or HTTPS.

  8. Continue to implement planned services to provision Jupyter notebook services, GPUs, Virtual Desktop Interfaces and Simpler Container Services.

  9. Review and consider offering application packages in the application catalogue as  requested in response to question 14 as per responses to “Are there any broadly used applications you would like to see published in the Application Catalogue”.

  10. With the aim to improve the response rate of future surveys, plan to run the survey a little earlier in the year i.e September/October to avoid targeting users who may be on end of year leave.