Because it’s not about the data, but determining the right approach and gaining a deep understanding of what the insights mean. Qualitative research is designed to reveal a target audience’s range of behavior and the perceptions that drive it.

Qualitative research methods originated in the social and behavioral sciences and whether they are conducted in-person, online, in-context or via telephone, include:

  • One-on-one in-depth interviews (IDIs)
  • Group discussions
  • Diary and journal exercises
  • In-person observations (ethnography, etc.)


Qualitative research leads to insightful results when all of the following apply:

  • An experienced researcher is onboard who, alone or working in a team, is responsible for the design, moderation and reporting of the qualitative research.
  • Internal bias is eliminated
  • Confidentiality is upheld (and whenever possible the end client remains anonymous to the respondent) to avoid bias
  • An expert is in charge who understands:
    • how to best capitalize on the synergy between respondents (in a group setting, when if properly managed, they are building on each other’s comments and ideas);
    • the dynamic nature of the qualitative research process
    • how to engage respondents in a more active manner than is possible in more structured quantitative research
    • when and where to probe (reaching beyond initial responses and rationale)
    • how to interpret non-verbal communication (body language/queues, intonation of voice, etc.)
    • creative methods for engaging respondents (projective techniques and exercises) to garner spontaneous reactions
  • It is not used in lieu of or presented as quantitative / predictive

Our trained in-house and preferred-partner moderators act as strategic alliances throughout the research process. Through discovery / scoping meetings, which allow us to gain a true understanding of the research objectives, the creative process of methodological options begins to take form. From there, discussion guides and recruiting screeners are developed, target audiences identified and findings reports are strategically addressed and delivered.

To request a quote for moderating / consultative services, please contact Amy Shields.