The Cicero Group, a Utah-based research and strategy company, has acquired polling and data collection company Dan Jones & Associates in what is being described as a "synergistic" marriage.

"The sum is certainly greater than the two parts," said Randy Shumway, president and chief executive officer of Cicero, after the acquisition was announced Monday.

The combined company will have more than 130 employees, including statisticians, strategists and economists, as well as a large data-collection team, he said. But from the viewpoint of the customer, it won't look drastically different.

Dan Jones and his wife, Pat, will stay on for at least five years in their existing roles — he as the poll and political research master and public face of Dan Jones & Associates, and she as the president, focus group leader and manager of daily operations. The name of the wholly-owned subsidiary won't change, either. The Cicero Group will continue to provide market research, track trends and more, Shumway said.

The Cicero Group has been known for its technology and research methods, with customers including Hewlett-Packard, Wells Fargo, AEG, LendingTree, Dow Chemical, Pfizer and others.

Dan Jones & Associates has, over 30 years, become a leading polling, market research and public opinion company, serving customers that include political candidates, public utilities and KSL and the Deseret News, among others.

The time was right, said Shumway, to bring together "two organizations with good harmony in culture and capability in order to offer expanded services to ensure the research stays cutting edge, that it's accurate and that our strategic insights are helping our clients obtain real value."

He also hopes, he said, that the pairing will "rejuvenate the message about how important research is" and how vital the responses of people who answer phones and e-mail are to understanding issues, trends and the world.

Besides the extra value that the pairing will offer customers, said Pat Jones, it's notable that both The Cicero Group and Dan Jones & Associates have been successful, despite the down economy. "We're growing, and we plan to continue to provide good value."

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