The Covid-19 pandemic has now been with us for over half a year and looks likely to affect everyone, both personally and professionally, well into 2021. Without question, the corona virus has been an uber-disrupter forcing changes in just about every industry one can think of. When looking at the pandemic through the lens of the insights industry, for obvious reasons, one of the most affected areas of practice has been qualitative research. Even before the pandemic hit, virtual approaches to qualitative fieldwork had been growing in prevalence.
With the adoption of digital now being almost complete within our society, researchers can readily find respondents from previously out-of-reach demographic groups. Previously off-grid older aged, rural, and/or lower income individuals are now connected and comfortable having conversations via digital interfaces. This has afforded researchers faster and cheaper options for qualitative fieldwork. Gone are the days when everyone needed to invest the time and expense of traveling to a facility for face-to-face sessions. With the new logistical and ethical concerns brought into play during this Covid Age, the use of online qualitative platforms has only grown.
Along-side our clients, The Logit group has navigated the new qualitative fieldwork landscape. We’d like to take a moment to bring to your attention to some of the platforms used for virtual IDIs and focus groups coming into play commonly on our joint qualitative initiatives. Although not a comprehensive list, what follows is a summary of platforms we’ve grown familiar to.
Zoom – This is the cheapest and most readily accessible option currently out there for researchers. Zoom can be easily deployed to geographically dispersed individuals via computer, tablet, or mobile device. To make respondent scheduling simple, Zoom offers streamlined calendaring, allowing the user to schedule or start meetings from Outlook, Gmail, or iCal. Further, Zoom offers secure recording of sessions and supports the sharing of HD audio and video. Given the broad use of Zoom, many respondents are quite familiar with the interface which reduces the chance technical frustrations as part of the respondent experience.
FocusVision – InterVu – This platform enables live online focus groups or webcam interviews using two-way audio and video. Groups can accommodate up to 8 respondents plus the moderator. The platform includes the option of a remote ‘backroom’ for observers and clients. Those in the backroom are able to chat with the moderator and register time stamps synced to the recording which can speed analysis after sessions are complete. A unique feature offered by InterVu is facial recognition software intended to identify ‘professional respondents’.
20/20 Research – QualMeeting – Providing researchers the ability to conduct “face-to-face research” with participants from anywhere in the world, QualMeeting pairs web-cam technology and video streaming with a number of proprietary tools for specialized analysis. The platform can support customizable designs for stimuli and screen sharing. Also, the proprietary video portal provides the capability of creating searchable transcripts that link seamlessly to the related clips.
Logit Go – As a fully integrated turnkey qualitative solution, Logit GO, provides a flash-free video solution built for market research interviews with extensive white labeling/branding capabilities. Researchers can conduct In Depth Interviews (IDI’s) or connect with up to 8 participants simultaneously while client observers can discuss the group and provide feedback to the moderator privately from the group discussion. The platform is conveniently accessible and possesses robust browser support. Additionally, moderators can deploy an intuitive screen-share feature which allows respondents to share their online activities quickly and easily. For added convenience, the GO 2.0 Board video recorder features automated audio quality checks. GO 2.0 also offers improvements to the video tagging and clipping interfaces, allowing the user to efficiently create highlight reels from video collected from any source.
Important to note, aside from Zoom, each of the aforementioned platforms provide live support to help respondents get connected and navigate tech glitches, giving moderators the freedom to remain attentive the conversation.
As insights teams execute qualitative fieldwork while navigating a playing field where face-to-face in-person interviewing continues to present difficulties, we see yet again, technology has a way of filling the void and presenting new opportunities to make our work efficient, accurate, and cost effective.
When considering your next qualitative research project, rest assured that The Logit Team understands the tools of the trade and has the experience to help you execute effortlessly.
About Chris Connolly, VP Research Services
Chris is persistently focused on providing superior value and experience for each client relationship. With over 20 years of industry experience serving in leadership roles for both technical groups and project management teams, he has a proven track record of success.