November 2017
Vol. 16, Number 9

Management News

Conference News

Chapter News

Committee News

Member News

Content Committee Presents the 2017 Virtual Mini-Conference: Artificial Intelligence (AI) Tools to Empower Human Qualitative Researchers

Randi Stillman,

The QRCA Virtual Mini-Conference, Artificial Intelligence (AI): Tools To Empower Human Qualitative Researchers is “...arguably the most forward-thinking set of material QRCA has ever presented — a fascinating set of presentations,” according to Kelly Heatly, QRCA Board Member and Content Committee Liaison, who gathered with members of her home Chapter in Texas to attend the all-virtual event.

Hosted by the QRCA Content Committee and FocusVision, the virtual Mini-Conference is an industry first to explore AI and its impact on qualitative practices. A mix of leading AI platform innovators and research practitioners from the US, Canada, and the UK shared their experiences and perspectives to elevate QRCs’ understanding of early-stage options, growing opportunities, and beneficial outcomes attributed to AI tools applied in qualitative market research.

Leaders of 12 QRCA Chapters across the US and Canada held meetings at local host facilities where members gathered together to participate in the virtual event. Overall, 132 QRCA members (representing 11 chapters) and non-member guests attended, either locally or virtually.

The QRCA Content Committee was formed in 2016 to leverage technology, so members can conveniently access the most current content from industry innovators, thought leaders, research practitioners, and allied professionals on a global scale. The annual QRCA Virtual Mini-Conference is one of several Content Committee initiatives that support local Chapter leadership in the creation, collection, and curation of content for QRCA members.

Current committee members include: Roben Allong (Chair), Rick Weitzer, Randi Stillman, and Laurie Butler.

Lana Novikova

Keynote Speaker Lana Novikova

Jessica Kukreti, Katya Cahoo

Qualitative practitioners Jessica Kukreti (top) and Katya Cahoon (bottom) share their AI experiences, strategies, tips with participants.

Many of the participating local chapters share their perspectives:

Eastern Canada Chapter

Eastern-Canadian Chapter Co-chairs, Maryse Hudon and Pascal Patenaude

Overall, things went very well in Montreal. We didn’t experience any technical issues and the sound was good for all six sessions. This is a great way to access various speakers from around the world, and we are looking forward to the next round.

Eastern Canada Chapter

Eastern Canada Chapter members and guest attendees included: Steve Letovsky, Kim Merckaert, Mark Lovell, Pascal Patenaude, Maryse Hudon and Margaret Reid. Virtual attendees included: Kate Dennis, Yanick Archambault and Kunyi Mangalam.

Florida Chapter

Kudos to Randi Stillman for her skilled moderation and Ring Master expertise! Great job! Please extend our thanks to all those who organized the Virtual Mini-Conference. Everyone here in Miami thoroughly appreciated the afternoon. We enjoyed the presentations and we especially enjoyed Andrew's (the physicist) presentation. Looking forward to more!

Florida Chapter

Florida Chapter

The “Miami Crowd” included: Marypage Turso, Elisabeth Beristain, Claudia Liemann, Gisella Emiliani and Jennifer Dale.

Florida Chapter

Florida Chapter attendees who viewed the Mini-Conference in Tampa included (left to right): Alicia Menanteau, Kevin Nobles and Mindy Richards.

Missouri Chapter

Missouri Chapter

Missouri Chapter attendees included (left to right): Earnestine Benford, Carol Johanek, Rick Weitzer, Cynthia Cluff, Mark Golde, Krista Knuffman, Jeff Musial, Maggie Forsee. Not pictured: Lisa Richter.

New England Chapter

The New England Chapter had a great time together at Fieldwork Boston during the Mini-Conference.

New England Chapter

New England Chapter attendees included: Back row (left to right): Kay Corry Aubrey, Linda Callahan and Nathan Schwalb and front row (left to right): Kelsey Segaloff, Anne Hooper and Laura Pinsky.

New York Chapter: A New York Metro Chapter Member Sums up Her Experience…

Zuleika Milan,

I really enjoyed the QRCA Virtual Mini-Conference on AI. What I particularly liked was how much work the speakers put into understanding our business so that they could truly develop a product that would help us. The willingness of the speakers to answer questions and offer up demos of their services was so valuable.

Hearing from all of the speakers explaining how AI works and how it can be applied to qualitative research was extremely insightful. I see AI as a tool to help with faster and more efficient analysis, recruit more efficiently and collect a large amount of data quickly.

In addition, wrapping up the day and hearing from actual users of AI was perfect! It was a very long day, and there was a lot of information to absorb, but all in all, I think the event was a huge success!

New York Metro Chapter in-person attendees included: Roben Allong (Chair), Zuleika Milan, Judy Galloway, Gloria Hu, Sandra Bauman and Janina Weigl. Virtual attendees included: Camille Carlin, Shannon Danzy, Tanya Krim and Jessica Barsky. The NY Chapter thanks Advanced Focus Facility @ Park Avenue South for their generous hosting of the attendees.

OHINKY Chapter:

OHINKY Chapter

Ohio-Indiana-Kentucky (OHINKY) Chapter attendees included (left to right): Laurie Bredenfoerder, Jennifer Blalock and Sharon Laukhuff. Thank you to our hosts at The Living Room for the local meeting space and tireless tech support. In addition, OHINKY chapter members Jim Berling, Tonya Harper and Diane Harris connected virtually.

San Francisco Chapter

San Francisco Chapter

Interested and awesome QRCs from the San Francisco Chapter.

Southeast Chapter: The Bots Are Coming…

Laurie Butler,

From robots and chat bots to artificial intelligence and human intelligence, the Southeast QRCA Chapter enjoyed learning at an extremely high level about AI tools to empower us as qualitative researchers. Atlanta Chapter members turned out both virtually and in person to view the QRCA’s first all-virtual multi-chapter Mini-Conference.

The Atlanta location also served as headquarters for the moderator of the Virtual Mini-Conference, Randi Stillman. Randi is a member of both the Southeast Chapter and the QRCA Content Committee. Many thanks go out to Stephenie Gordon and Nicole Lee from Schlesinger Associates, who worked with Randi and FocusVision to assist in a smooth presentation to over 100 viewers.

Most importantly, I am happy to learn that the machines still need us as QRCs, but we should take a closer look at how to use these AI tools to enhance our qualitative skills, too. Additional thanks to all who made this 2017 Mini-Conference a virtual reality!

Southeast Chapter

Randi Stillman, conference moderator

Southeast Chapter

Stephenie Gordon and Nicole Lee, Schlesinger Associates

Southeast Chapter

Southeast Chapter attendees included: Janelle Nelems (Co-Chair – Southeast Chapter Member – SC), Randi Stillman (Southeast Chapter Member – GA; Moderator; Content Committee), Linda Travis (Southeast Chapter Member – GA), Mike McClellan (Southeast Chapter Member – GA) and Laurie Butler (Co-Chair – Southeast Chapter Member – GA; Content Committee). Virtual attendees included: Michele Shaute (New Southeast Chapter Member – GA), Rebecca Bryant (Southeast Chapter Member – TN) and Sondra Brown (Southeast Chapter Member – LA).

Texas and Friends Chapter

Cynthia Tello,

Texas and Friends Chapter

Texas and Friends Chapter attending the Virtual Mini-Conference. Texas and Friends Chapter attendees included (left to right): David Galloway, Elisa Galloway, an unidentified student registrant, Marta Villanueva, Cynthia Tello, Mary Repole, Wade Harrington, Susan Korbel, and another unidentified attendee. Also present, but not pictured: Anthony Garcia, Jessica Tate, Crystal Galloway and Patty Garcia.

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