February 2014
Vol. 13, Number 1

QRCA Management News
Conference News
Chapter News
Committee News
SIG News
Member News

George Pierson

QRCA DC Metro Chapter Welcomes Creativity Expert

Barbara Gassaway, bg@researchgrp.com

Creativity Expert George Pierson will present “The Creative Power of Brainwave Alignment Training” to the D.C. Metro Chapter on Friday, February 21, 2014.  QRCA members outside the D.C. Metro area have the option to observe Pierson’s presentation via Focus Vision. 

In this QRCA workshop, George will demonstrate this extraordinary method through guided meditation.  As participants focus on experiencing deep meditative relaxation, Mr. Pierson will demonstrate how to inspire spontaneous creative insights.

These insights are applicable to all aspects of a person’s life, including the creation of a more productive and creative work environment.

For more information check out the related websites, www.creative-mindflow.com and awakenedmind.org/Home_Page.html for an overview of the awakened mind training.

Metro D.C. also announces these upcoming meetings:

  • March, date TBD, Member Knowledge Share (Local members only – not Focus Vision accessible)
  • April 4th, Bill Killam, User-Centered Design, Inc.: “Human Factors in Usability Testing”
  • May 16th.  Michael Karchner, KMR (Karchner Market Research): “Qualitative Research from the Respondent Perspective”

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Florida Chapter Update

Marypage Turso, mturso@newviewresearch.com

The Florida Chapter has been busy lately! 

  • The chapter introduced two new co-chairs to the Florida Chapter in January.  Along with long-time, highly dedicated Chair Albert Sanchez, both Kevin Nobles of Nobles Research and Marypage Turso of New View Research, Inc. have agreed to coordinate the chapter activities this year.

  • The Chapter had a successful webinar on Friday January 10th to launch the year. Two organizations presented to the strongly attended session: 

    • Karma Collage demonstrated how its new technology can help researchers elicit emotion from respondents through collage creation and sharing. 
    • Better Decisions presented their model for capturing real time quant during qual sessions. 

  • The chapter’s next in-person session is set for Friday, February 28 in Miami.  Ask Miami will host the session. Creative facilitator Rick Tabb will help attendees develop their facilitation skills for creativity workshops. The Florida Chapter is looking forward to an exciting year.

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MN Chapter Recaps San Diego Conference

Jeff Walkowski, jeff.walkowski@qualcore.com
and Paul Tuchman, ptuch@aol.com

It has become a tradition in the Minnesota Chapter to devote a monthly meeting to highlights from the QRCA Annual Conference.  This past October, three members of the Minnesota chapter (Valerie Esqueda, Paul Tuchman, and Jeff Walkowski) attended the conference in San Diego. The three shared their insights about the conference at an early December chapter meeting. 

The presentation and discussion were led by Paul Tuchman.  He prefaced his introduction by saying that in no way should the insights shared be considered a substitute for attending the conference.  Paul reminded everyone that seeing a presentation live and being able to talk about it with other attendees while at the conference is a major benefit of attending; and, that beyond just the presentations, the learning, sharing, and interaction at the conference can’t be duplicated.

With that, Paul used the resulting Top-10 list of presentations (as determined from attendee evaluations) as the starting-off point for the presentation.  Six of the Top 10 presentations were attended by at least one of the MN Chapter members.  The meeting ended up covering four of the presentations, because there were so many questions and additional discussion from the audience.

The presentation and discussion gave those who weren’t able to attend the conference a taste of what an actual in-person experience might be like.  It also left them with some good food for thought.  Not only did the meeting benefit those who had not traveled to San Diego, but it helped the presenters articulate what they got out of the conference, solidifying the learnings they gained there.

Paul concluded by saying he hoped that the summaries and discussion will inspire more chapter members to attend the next QRCA Annual Conference, to be held in New Orleans in October 2015.

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MN Chapter Members Complete First Session of Moderator Professional Development Pilot Program, “Moderating For Good”

Valerie Esqueda, val@cultrdig.com

On Tuesday, November 12, 2013, members of the QRCA MN Chapter completed a Moderating for Good (“Mod4Good”) pilot project. The purpose of this experimental project was to explore a program that would accomplish two mutually beneficial objectives that, it was hoped, could benefit other QRCA chapters as well.

Objective 1 was to create a process for a non-profit in need to receive qualitative research services that would lead to actionable results for their organization.

Objective 2 was to give professional moderators a rare opportunity to continue to elevate their skills by observing each others’ styles and approaches.

Being that Mod4Good was an experiment, we had no idea what we were in store for or how well it would accomplish our objectives. All we knew was that we wanted to try out the Mod4Goodconcept and see if it could work.  

The Mod4Good experiment was conceived in March of 2013. Nine months later, in November, the first Mod4Good research effort came to fruition. Thanks to everyone’s support, patience, cooperation, bravery and enthusiasm, the Mod4Good maiden voyage ended up being a fantastic experience and a highly rewarding learning opportunity. 

The recipient of thisMod4Good program experiment was Youth Frontiers, a Minnesota non-profit organization that improves school environments throughout the Midwest by teaching important character-building behaviors to school-age children.  Our Mod4Good team of co-chairs included Nancy Brown, Valerie Esqueda, Elaine Gingold, Riva Kupritz, Pam McCarthy, Tracy Peterson, and Jeff Walkowski.

After meeting with Youth Frontiers’ leadership to understand the school program landscape, the Mod4Good team designed a focus group research effort to address some very specific areas that Youth Frontiers needed to understand. They included ways to help schools make a case for the value of a “soft metric” program in a “hard performance metric” environment with budgetary concerns and mandates. After addressing logistics, we moved forward with a focus group consisting of school counselors who would be recruited by Youth Frontiers. 

The Mod4Good moderator learning experience was about “Going from Good to Great” and focused on how focus group moderation at its finest does more than just “cover the bases.” We decided we wanted this learning experience to be about the art of moderating.  The “artfulness” would be about how moderators use their own skills and intuition to access the deeper layer of honest, authentic and core responses so our clients can make truly well-informed decisions.

The training session was structured as follows:

Moderating Moderators:  Moderators teamed up and moderated a 90-minute group, with two moderators per focus group session.  Each “owned” half of the session. Our Moderating Moderators were Riva Kupritz and Pam McCarthy.  They are both highly talented and gifted moderators who generously allowed us to watch them work their magic

Observing Moderators: These are moderators with an interest in learning other styles, techniques or approaches.  They watched the masters at work from the back room. 

Post Group Session:  Observing Moderators, working from a feedback guide, shared what they learned and provided feedback to the Moderating Moderators on what they saw happening in terms of group dynamics.  Both Moderating and Observing Moderators exchanged thoughts on how to get to core insights and identified moments when insights arose organically.

The end result was highly rewarding and informative for all involved. Youth Frontiers was able to make very important strategic decisions based on what they learned.  They were also able to identify some exciting new program-development opportunities.

The QRCA chapter member feedback we received from “both sides of the mirror” that night was:

  1. Moderators left feeling inspired and rewarded.  They felt confident about how they might apply what they had learned, to their own professional development.
  2. We had heard from moderators who wanted to do pro-bono projects as a way of giving back, but these are typically too time-consuming and difficult to execute. By tackling this project as a group, the participating moderators were all able to experience the gratification of completing a successful community service research project.
  3. Moderators said they had an even deeper mutual respect and appreciation for fellow QRCA members’ special talents and approaches. 

In addition, since the conclusion of this experiment we have been seeing and hearing of increased instances of chapter members tapping into each other for expertise and other forms of professional support. One such mention was from Jeff Walkowski to Pam McCarthy on her projective techniques:

Thanks for demonstrating the use of those toy animals in a focus group. It reminded me how such a simple exercise can be so productive.
 I had a feeling that exercise might be helpful in some groups I’m doing this week, and I was right!  If I hadn’t watched you moderate in the M4G project for Youth Frontiers, I’m not sure I would have considered it as part of this week’s groups.”

Based on feedback and our learnings from the pilot, we are working on tweaking the Mod4Good program and looking forward to running it again next year.  What’s more, we now have a fairly solid process that we are happy to share with other chapters.  If you think your chapter might like to explore doing a Mod4Good project of your own, please feel free to contact Valerie Esqueda at val@cultrdig.com. She will be glad tell you more about the QRCA MN Chapter experience, process specifics, and materials that will be helpful to you.

The Mod4Good focus group was held at Orman Guidance Research facility.  Special thanks go to Rosemary Sundin who graciously offered the use of the facility and their support during the focus group session.

P.S. Toward the end of our focus group, one of the members of the Youth Frontier client group quietly got up and excused herself. She was nine months pregnant but wasn't expecting to give birth for another two weeks. Apparently the baby had other ideas!  She realized she was going into labor, called her husband, went straight to the hospital from the facility and gave birth to a beautiful baby girl!  In all our years as moderators, not one of us has ever experienced a client going into labor in the back room!

Moderating Moderators extraordinaire Riva Kupritz and Pam McCarthy explored the logical and emotional influences on decision making.

Riva Kupritz

Pam McCarthy

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San Francisco Chapter Kicks Off 2014 with Nancy Hardwick

Jennifer Berkley Jackson, jberkley@theinsightadvantage.com

San Francisco QRCA kicked off its year with an insight-packed meeting exploring how to improve the impact of our reports.  We were thrilled to have Nancy Hardwick of Hardwick Research fly in from Seattle to share her slightly updated presentation, which was a huge hit at the Annual Conference. 

We had a great turnout for this meeting, hosted by Nichols Research in downtown San Francisco.  They were wonderful hosts and showed us their comprehensive facility set-up which comes with the best views in San Francisco!

Our brains were overflowing with fresh, easy-to-implement ideas which can help differentiate us and help us tell better stories as we present study results to our clients.  Some of the highlights:

  • Work with a graphics designer to develop a PowerPoint™ template that has some standard design elements built in and your color template throughout to enhance your image and make it easier to integrate professional looking tables and graphics into all of your reports.
  • Use online image sources such as istockphoto.com to find photos which can either accompany or replace text in some cases: “A picture is worth a thousand words.”  This can be very effective when communicating the demographics of the respondent group. Neat tip: if you want to get graphics that have no background and look more like cutouts, include “isolate” in your search to only see those types of images.
  • Use online PowerPoint resources such as slideshop.com to save time and embed cool, ready-made, customizable slick looking elements into your reports such as word bubbles for verbatims, timelines, maps, tables, and more.  You can sign up to their mailing lists and get one free slide per week!
  • Use interesting standard PowerPoint effects such as “reflection” and “shadows” to add interest and polish to your visuals
  • Consider creating “infographics” to summarize results.  You can find sample infographics to inspire you and create your own template, which is easy to update for each project.
  • Use online tools like animoto.com to easily give the impression of video using still images or PowerPoint slides.

This is just a tiny bit of the information Nancy shared with us, based on her own research and efforts to spruce up her reports.  After Nancy’s presentation, we had attendees share some of their own reports and things they have tried that took their reports to the next level and were well-received.  A few more tools we heard about:

  • Gliffy -- flowcharting tool
  • Flickr Creative Commons -- to find free, open source photos

Everyone left with a wealth of new ideas and resources to integrate into their reporting work—and instructions to pick just a few things to try first and then add in new approaches one by one over time vs. becoming overwhelmed.  Thanks to Nancy for the inspiration!

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Philadelphia Chapter Partakes in a Language Science "Flight”

Dr. Karen J. Hyver, karen@perceptamrc.com

On January 10, the Philadelphia Chapter hosted “The Language Summit: Using Linguistics Analysis, Semiotics, and Text Analysis in Market Research.”

Members who packed the room at Focus Pointe Global in Center City,and colleagues participating remotely through FocusVision video streaming shared in a tasting of language science applied to market research through the presentations by an esteemed panel of experts: Dr. Joseph Yeager, Dr. Laura Oswald, and Tom Anderson.

Our expert panel, from left:  Tom Anderson, Dr. Laura Oswald, and Dr. Joseph Yeager

The day began as Philadelphia Chapter member, Dr. Deanna Manfredi whetted our appetite with her introductory remarks.  Deanna provided us with a backdrop outlining the development of psycholinguistics through the work of several giants in the field.

Next on our agenda, through his presentation on the topic of linguistics analysis, Dr. Yeager, Founder and Chairman of Sommer Consulting, enlightened us to the thinking of language codes as “tracks in the snow”.  Dr. Yeager prescribed that language is a rule-based system; and, through analyzing the content of what respondents say, linguistic methods reveal the intertwining emotions and logic that underpin motives and behaviors.

After lunch, Dr. Oswald, Founding Director of Marketing Semiotics, Inc., offered us a glimpse into how the cultural specificity of semiotics can be used to understand East-West differences in brand identity in the luxury brand industry. Through her case study comparing awareness, perceptions, and loyalty toward luxury brands in France and China, she demonstrated the application of semiotic theory and methods to the design, data collection, and analysis of her market research study.

Concluding our “flight” into language science, Tom Anderson, Founding and Managing Partner of Anderson Analytics, shared diverse case studies sourced from open-ends in customer satisfaction surveys to social media.  He illustrated how text analytics has evolved from simply word counts into sophisticated text mining tools and provided examples whereby these tools can shed insight into respondents’ sentiments and meaning in context, enhancing the prediction of behaviors such as brand loyalty, beyond quantitative analytics alone.

I left the day inspired… desiring more than these tastes; anddetermined to look for opportunities to more formally apply the diverse and powerful tools and techniques from language science to enhance my practice as a qualitative market research consultant.

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Virtual Chapter’s Global Line-up

Julia Spink, Virtual Chapter Chair, julia@lumina-solns.com

We have been reviewing the Virtual Chapter activities and have decided to provide better coverage for our globally dispersed members by having a number of co-chairs, each of whom would take on responsibility for a specific part of the world. 

We are finalising the line-up for this but have already appointed:

  • Layla Shea for North America [USA plus Canada]
  • Astrid Velazquez for South and Central America
  • Sam Loggenberg for Africa
  • Karin Curran for Asia and Australasia
    with Europe to be finalised shortly.

Layla Shea

Astrid Velazquez

Sam Loggenberg

Karin Curran

This will help us to ensure that we can address across our meetings the various issues of our diverse membership and reflect their needs in our meeting program.

We are delighted to welcome them on board.

Look out for the Virtual Chapter’s 2014 program, to be announced soon!

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