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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Beyond Storytelling: When, Why and How to Work with Stories

Posted By Farnaz Badie, Thursday, June 25, 2020

Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Beyond Storytelling: When, Why and How to Work with Stories

Presenters: Criscillia Benford and Anna Marie Trester, PIER Consulting Group


Summary of Conference Session

This session's speakers are both social scientists, focused on linguistics and humanities. Their powerful session at the QRCA Conference looked at the use of narrative inquiry and storytelling in order to facilitate workplace conversations and help organizations build better work environments and relationships with their customers.

Key Session Takeaways

There's nothing more deeply human than stories. As long as humans have been able to talk, we’ve been telling stories. We process what’s happening to us and catalogue it in the form of stories. In Silicon Valley, storytelling is now starting to replace traditional methods, such as surveys, in assessing employee satisfaction. The speakers use narrative inquiry to help organizations learn how communication is experienced within their cultures, and how these experiences shape their cultures.

There are three key steps to the process of a narrative inquiry:

Step 1 – collect stories

Step 2 – process stories

Step 3 – look for patterns among the stories

In the case of an organization looking to better understand its current culture, step one involves meetings with stakeholders in order to consider what the experience of a young employee in their organization may be like, and ultimately formulating two to four themes. The speakers then use a story circle whereby 10 employees/peers sitting in a circle share their stories about the organization. An example of a prompt for the story circle: "Think about a time when a supervisor gave you some advice—it may have been in a formal setting, like in their office, or an informal setting, like in a coffee shop. What did the supervisor say and how did you feel about it?"

In step two, a group of 10-30 stakeholders review the stories collected from the employees, and start to make sense of them by considering the emotions, feelings, actions, and dialogues expressed in those stories.

In step three, the stakeholders start to cluster the ideas emerging from the stories and look for repetition and patterns of behavior within their organization.

In summary, narrative inquiry is used to identify what’s working and what’s not working in a culture. From there, the team helps the organization create intervention initiatives. Storytelling can be used in many ways to help our clients better understand a challenge they are facing. For example, storytelling can be used in new product development projects, where moderators can ask respondents to tell us the best and the worst stories they have had with a particular category or brand.

Aha Moment

The presenters emphasized that as facilitators during the narrative inquiry, we have to be as invisible as possible—if you intervene in the stories being told, you won’t hear the details.

Final Comments

Stories contain worlds... but it's just as important to hear what isn't being said (referred to as a Noisy Not), as it is to hear what is being said.

QRCA Reporter on the Scene: Farnaz Badie, The Thought Bubble

Tags:  human behavior  humanizing research  listening  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene  Qualitative Methodologies  Qualitative Methods  Research Methodologies  types of research 

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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Cultivating Connection: Helping Decision-Makers Understand the Humans Behind the Data

Posted By Marta Villanueva, Thursday, June 18, 2020
Updated: Thursday, June 18, 2020

Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Cultivating Connection: Helping Decision-Makers Understand the Humans Behind the Data

Presenter: Cory Davison, 4Xperience


Summary of Conference Session

At the QRCA Annual Conference presenter Cory Davison of 4Xperience asked attendees, “How do you connect the qualitative findings with the decision makers, to further drive action?”.

One of the biggest challenges for qualitative researchers is to deliver insights to the different audiences and promote a common understanding of who the humans are providing input in the research. Driving action makes our research meaningful. Action starts with “humanizing” the data and connecting with the decision-makers who may interpret the research from many different perspectives.

During her presentation and utilizing real case studies, Cory Davison shared a simple framework with 5 steps (Relate, Speak their Language, Understand their Audience, Walk in their Steps, and Focus on the “So What” which can be the bridge to connect consumers and the humans interpreting the data.

Key Session Takeaways

I really enjoyed Cory’s session and had many “takeaways” including the heart of her presentation which was that as qual professionals we need to find a way to relate to clients through stepping into their world and remembering that they deal with varying thoughts, feelings, emotions, just like us. They are deserving of our empathy.

The boardroom dishes out many challenges including shorter attention spans, dealing with big data, many versions of the truth, etc. By remembering that our clients are human like us, we can make presentations interactive, build bridges from an experience perspective, and use tools like the Insights Discovery Tool to understand what clients know, believe, and do can break down barriers to connection.

On the topic of presentations, we need to make sure that as practitioners we are speaking the same “language” in order to connect with our clients. Focus on what matters to them, including the metrics client uses, emphasizing the story the data creates, developing a process map with interval views (product/brand path from beginning to end), and an experience map (showcases what happens when the human factor is involved). Understand their audience and bring it to life through personas. Most importantly, Cory reminded all of us to “be clear about what you know and don’t know”.

Present the data in a way that can be understood. Researchers and qual professionals need to remember that journey maps are different from process maps.

  • Journey maps are about what customers do vs. what a brand wants them to do.
  • Journey maps answer: what does the persona do, think, say, feel? “So what?”

We must direct clients in what to do with the data. The “so what” must include the persona, company, and solution. Coming up with a mantra or agreement statement can aid understanding - something clients can go do. For example, we can use an action phrase to make the connections for clients: "Therefore we recommend/enabled by/ and if we do this…."

Aha Moment

It’s very easy to get caught up in the research and forget that clients are “human” too. This presentation was a great reminder to take the time to understand the client pain points, their stakeholders, and ways to connect with their preferences using a tool like Insights Discovery.

Final Comments

We forget the power behind the creative techniques used with consumers. Our tools can easily be adapted for relationship-building with clients.

Moving forward, I will be adapting my deep dive techniques developed for consumers to connect with clients.

QRCA Reporter on the Scene: Marta Villanueva, NuThinking

Tags:  actionable insights  Humanizing Research  Insights  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene  Qualitative  Research Methodologies 

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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: FG BnB!

Posted By Brooke Bower, Thursday, May 21, 2020

Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: FG BnB!

Presenters: Abby Leafe, New Leafe Research and Laurie Tema-Lyn, Practical Imagination Enterprises

Summary

At the 2020 QRCA Annual Conference, presenters Abby Leafe and Laurie Tema-Lyn asked all of us “What happens when you bring the sharing economy to the world of research?” Turns out, a lot of exciting things! Throughout the session, Abby and Laurie creatively (and practically!) presented how we can use alternative venues for conducting qualitative research such as AirBnB and Peerspace and how to ensure that a project is a success once the right space is identified.

The engaging session provided real world instances of this method. Both Abby and Laurie utilized their own experiences using unique spaces to conduct qualitative research throughout, including an instance where an LA mansion proved to be the ideal setting for three days of focus groups and client innovation sessions for a start-up client on a budget, leading to development of a pipeline of new product ideas, some of which are now in the marketplace. As they pointed out, not everything is sunshine and roses when utilizing these spaces. Both Abby and Laurie highlighted some hard-earned learnings about how to avoid problems and ensure our sanity when working in a new space that may not be set up for our research.

Key Takeaways

Non-traditional locations can be great for the right project. The project should have a very specific reason for choosing a non-traditional venue and all logistics associated with the venue need to be explored and planned for. The general elements to consider include:

  • How to get there: for clients, respondents, and the researchers.
  • Comfort: what is needed to make the research comfortable and is there enough privacy for the structure of the research.
  • Technology needed: can be the biggest factor to consider.
  • Budget: sometimes non-traditional locations can be a cost saver, but researchers must think through everything you need to bring that might be in a traditional facility,  i.e. multiple types of creamer, buying easels/office supplies, bringing in snacks and meals, staffing the location to have a facility manager.
  • The intangibles: the ambiance fit for the project, your gut feeling.

If all of these are considered and it is a fit for the project, the right place can help stimulate creativity and engage the mind in different activities, communicating to clients and respondents it is not business as usual!

A key tip from both Abby and Laurie was to thoroughly prepare the clients and respondents for the venue. Overcommunicate about it. Write a letter to the respondents introducing yourself as the moderator, telling them about the purpose of the research and why it is being held in the non-traditional location, and how to get there with special parking instructions.

Aha Moment

The fun, non-traditional location can strengthen the depth of your connection with your client as it takes you out of the standard business setting (i.e. debriefing in a luxury LA mansion by the pool after the respondents have left!). This presentation really broadened my mind and encouraged me to think more creatively when I am looking for research venues!

Final Comments

The topic of this presentation was creative and provided fresh ideas to re-energize research projects!

QRCA Reporter on the Scene: Brooke Bower, Independent Research Consultant

Tags:  focus groups  human behavior  Humanizing Research  market research  marketing research  mobile research  Moderating  outreach  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene  Qualitative Methodologies  Research Methodologies  research methodology 

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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Street Research: Learning from Humans at the Intersection of Authenticity and Insights

Posted By Aimee Caffrey, Thursday, May 14, 2020
Updated: Thursday, May 14, 2020

Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Street Research: Learning from Humans at the Intersection of Authenticity and Insights

Presenters: Kelly Heatly, Heatly Custom Research, LLC and Jill Matthews, Bright Cactus, LLC

Summary

In the session on Street Research at the 2020 QRCA Annual Conference, Kelly Heatly and Jill Matthews introduced place-based or street research. Discussion centered around effective applications for place-based research and best practices for successful execution, including low- and high-tech tools for on-site data collection and analysis/reporting. Utilizing a series of case study examples, Kelly and Jill demonstrated the unique value of its inclusion in the qualitative researcher’s toolkit.

Key Takeaways

With applications ranging from understanding the consumer purchase journey or shopper experience to visual merchandising, signage testing, sensory testing, or simply meeting hard-to-reach participants where they are, street research is about identifying opportunities to capture meaningful customer feedback in the moments that matter. Some key points I took away from this engaging and informative presentation are:

  • Street research is often one of three types:
  • Live, interactive, in-person (the most traditional)
  • Synchronous, tech-mediated (virtual moderation via video conferencing software or a research-specific platform while a participant is in-store, at the shelf, etc.)
  • Asynchronous, tech-mediated (participation via mobile app or browser).
  • Regardless of whether one is leveraging an in-person approach, a wholly tech-mediated approach, or something in-between, it is crucial to plan with the end in mind and align with your client as early as possible on the following:
  • Objectives
  • Participation/responsibilities in the field
  • Reporting and deliverables
  • Timing
  • Inclusion and quality of video recording
  • While traditional, in-person research is often the most logistically complicated, each approach requires deliberate design and preparation. This entails thinking carefully about where the research will/should unfold, relevant legalities, issues of permission and recruitment, staffing on-site, and technological preparedness (e.g. packing chargers, having a plan for storing videos, etc.). Entertaining as many “what if’s” as possible and devising contingency plans accordingly is essential.
  • When it comes to in-person research with pre-recruited participants, clearly communicate an exact meeting place and, for any in-person street research, always dress appropriately for the environment.
  • Successful street researchers accept that the chaos of the real world is a double-edged sword. It can serve as both the greatest evidence of authenticity and the greatest interference to the best-laid research plans. Remaining flexible and prepared to improvise can mean the difference between being thwarted by the unexpected and using it to propel one toward meaningful insights.

Aha Moment

#1: Having participants wear Snapchat Spectacles to collect in-the-moment data?! LOVE it!

#2 Reminder: Always consider local laws around capturing video/photo without permission.

Final Comments

In addition to helping me think through some of the fundamental considerations to be made when conducting street research, Kelly and Jill offered some great tips on the fly that I will definitely keep in mind the next time I’m involved in or supporting this kind of research! These include having a pre-paid phone just for research purposes (e.g. calling/texting with participants) and finding simple but meaningful ways (e.g. bring in a box of donuts!) to build rapport with front-line staff whose work the research may be disrupting.

As expected, an informative and fascinating presentation by two inspiring Quallies. Thank you, Kelly Heatly and Jill Matthews!

QRCA Reporter on the Scene: Aimee Caffrey, Bain & Company, Inc.

Tags:  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene  Reporter on the Scene  Research technology  Research Methodologies  research methodology 

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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: WhatsApp, the Front Row Seat to Consumer Engagement

Posted By Allyson Sovinsky, Thursday, May 7, 2020

Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: WhatsApp, the Front Row Seat to Consumer Engagement

Presenter: Mpho Mpofu, Masutane Consulting Services

Summary

With an eager desire to connect with, feel and understand the lives of consumers in South Africa, Mpho Mpofu set out to find a way to gain a front row seat to their world. In a county confronted with a host of limitations – low levels of education, unstable connectivity, limited access to and use of computers, the intimidation of technology, high cost of data, and language barriers – “traditional methods” of conducting qualitative research would prove to be unviable. So, what was the answer? WhatsApp.

Her quest led her to a platform that would offer a multidimensional but non-intrusive lens to consumers’ lives using text, audio and video connections. WhatsApp has become the preferred form of communication in emerging markets around the world with individuals using it on a daily basis to share all the different moments of their lives. Compared to traditional research platforms, this is something these consumers already relate to, making them feel comfortable and in control, setting the stage for a greater willingness to share. WhatsApp is an agile, intimate and affordable method that allows us to be a part of a consumer’s day from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to bed. It allows us to experience in real-time the influences and circumstances that shape their decision-making, capture consumer emotion and provide a degree of anonymity for consumers. While it is limited to exploratory research, it offers a greater geographic reach and remote engagement capabilities for unlimited insight gathering.

Key Takeaways

In order to step inside the lives of humans around the world, we must leverage the familiarity and relevance of the current methods they are using to engage in their everyday lives. WhatsApp is always there, especially when computers are not. It’s not without its limitations, but it is a step in the right direction in our efforts to keep qual human and engage with our responds in their own context.

In a time where unique ways of doing research are becoming more relevant, WhatsApp is a current, agile, familiar and affordable method of research that we should all be adding to our repertoire of methodologies.

Aha Moment

What I learned in Mpho Mpofu's session has opened my eyes to the world of possibilities that are out there for qualitative research. I will keep the WhatsApp method in mind, as well as search for others, for when we need familiar, accessible and affordable means of reaching key consumer targets. While we don't do a ton of global research currently within my company, this method may open doors to making it more possible than ever.

In the world of qualitative research, we don't have to be confined to the people or places we can reach in person. With advancement in technology, we can get to the places we never thought we could reach.

Final Comments

In our quest to keep qual human, we must make take conscious efforts to meet people in their own context, in the depths of their world, in their everyday moments. WhatsApp is just one of many tools that we can use to reach the places we never thought possible.


QRCA Reporter on the Scene: Allyson Sovinsky, MarketVision Research

Tags:  Market Research Technology  marketing research  marketing technology  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene  Research Methodologies  research methodology  technology solutions 

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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: 2020 Qually Award Final Presentations

Posted By Rodrigo dos Reis, Thursday, April 16, 2020

Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: 2020 Qually Award Final Presentations

Finalist Presenters:

Barb Paszyn and Mike D’Abramo, Sklar Wilton & Associates

Jillian Domin and Leah Lowe, Hypothesis Group

Maria Virobik, ResearchScribe

Summary of Conference Session

Since 2011, QRCA has found a way to honor fellow creative problem solvers with a unique industry award affectionately known as the “Qually” Award. At the 2020 Annual Conference all in attendance had the excellent chance to hear from the finalists for the 2020 Qually Award.

Centered on the theme of alleviating traffic congestion in the world’s busiest cities, the three presenting groups presented three great takes on how qualitative practices can be leveraged to improve quality of life for many while overcoming stakeholder barriers and ultimately generating behavioural change. This session gave all attendees great perspectives and tools that they can utilize in their own practice.

Key Session Takeaways

While there were many takeaways from the three sessions, some of the key highlights for me included:

  • Technology, even hardware, as a better way to connect clients to consumer needs and real pain point.
  • Find the real decision makers and understand real world solutions and barriers so premature death of ideas can be prevented.
  • Exploring big ideas like luxury on a conceptual level so they can be leveraged to me more enticing.
  • Mixing demographic, behavioural and attitudinal segmentation — a complex combination of barriers calls for a more thorough approach.
  • Leveraging longer term data collection through communities so participants have time to reflect on the subject after repeated experiences, giving them second and third chances to provide further insight.

I personally liked how utilizing recent technology (but hardware rather than a new platform) was considered as a better way to connect clients to consumer needs and real pain points.

One of the presentations highlighted how important it can be to involve the real decision makers and specialists and having an in-depth, technical perspective of what has been tried and what can really be done in order to avoid ideas being killed too early on. I also enjoyed the idea of exploring wide concepts like luxury, so they can be leveraged to be more enticing for those interacting with future products and services and drive how these will be designed.

For complex subjects with a lot of nuance, it's a great idea to mix demographic, behavioural and attitudinal subgroups — a more thorough approach can cover more particular pain points more effectively. For some issues, it's a great idea to leverage longer term data collection through communities so participants have time to reflect on the subject after repeated experiences, so they potentially offer more insight.

Putting it into Practice

While the presenters were competing for the Qually Award, their takeaways were key and had me thinking about how I can elevate my own qualitative practice. I intend to combine more of my own experience with consumers' — simultaneous ethnographic and observation. I value the approach one presenter took of taking longer on data collection for subjects involving repeating, daily experiences so participants have longer to reflect. This was also the most relevant use of 360 cameras applied to qual I have seen until now.

Aha Moment

There were many “aha moments” throughout the presentations, but my favorite was that a great way to immerse clients in the user's context is using 360 cameras through the commuting journey.

Final Comments

All three presentations were great in their own ways and each had a fresh perspective for taking on the transit issue. I appreciate all the time each group took to put together their presentations. I can’t wait to see what the 2021 Qually Award challenge is!

Read more about the Qually Awards: https://www.qrca.org/page/qually_award

QRCA Reporter on the Scene: Rodrigo dos Reis, Zeitgeist

Tags:  market research  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene  Qualitative Methods  Qually Award  Qually Award Winners  research methodology 

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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: The Humanity of Board Games: Getting to those Nooks & Crannies that Technology Cannot Reach

Posted By Meena Aier, Thursday, April 2, 2020

Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: The Humanity of Board Games: Getting to those Nooks & Crannies that Technology Cannot Reach

Presenter: Oana Popa Rengle, Anamnesis

Summary of Conference Session

In this engaging session at the 2020 QRCA Annual Conference, Oana Popa Rengle carefully built a framework around how board games can be used to generate (and not just communicate) insights.

Oana identified four main ways in which board games very naturally create an environment that can be conducive to unearthing real insights:

  1. Intimacy and connections – we tend to play board games with friends and family, so there can typically be a circle of trust around board game players.
  2. They encourage bluffing, deceit, creativity, etc. which are all elements that can be leveraged as strong tools to generate insight.
  3. There is a certain element of physicality about board games. In this highly digitized world, board games can bring back a fresh approach – players must either roll the dice or move pieces while playing board games. It could implicitly grant them more freedom in expressing themselves, which could result in richer insights.
  4. There is a level of ownership that comes with board games. Players can bend (or even break!) rules, they can create their own “house rules”.

Board games gives us a potentially novel way to give respondents control over the research process. They can tell their stories in their own ways, which can be quite powerful. Drawing on these four characteristics, researchers can transform a traditional focus group session into an engaging board game.

Key Session Takeaways

This was a session rich in content and lessons, and as such, there were many takeaways. Here are some of the critical ones:

  1. Oana was advocating for game-based research, and not gamification. This means that for board games to work, researchers need to have a mental model of the subject of inquiry – or at the very least, a mental model of how human motivation works. This mental model then needs to lend itself to a game-based format. Researchers will need to have a strong narrative underpinning the game and may find themselves needing to rethink their approach to posing questions and getting answers.
  2. Any board game needs to be competitive. This means participants "earn" points and they need to go through conditions that require them to "spend" their points to advance to the next stage. This creates a powerful "pain of payment" moment and forces them to make real choices about what they really need, and what they can live without – a tactic that can certainly be helpful when trying to determine what features are important in a product.
  3. Researchers can also take this opportunity to have their clients play against the players, especially in cases where in order to proceed to the next stage, or earn resources, players are required to highlight things that frustrate them about client products. This can create a powerful moment of empathy, where clients can firsthand experience the voice of their customer and see what it feels like to be a consumer of their products.
  4. There can potentially be limitations – a focus group format can provide opportunities for the moderator to dig deep into a participant observation/opinion, until it turns into insight. In a board game, a participant might make an interesting (or a highly promising) observation, but the chance to dive deeper into that observation may be very limited. One potential way around this limitation may be to create a "bonus" card or a bonus choice, where participants are able to earn additional resources for elaborating further on that observation.
  5. Board games are a great opportunity to bring fun. Laughter can break the ice, and in building a shared, trusting environment, can create a pathway to insight.

 

Aha Moment

I really enjoyed Oana’s unique presentation, so much so that I couldn’t limit my “aha-moment” to just one.

  1. Oana’s simple yet deeply powerful understanding of the insight generation process made this session one of the best at this year’s QRCA conference. This quote in particular, will always be something I come back to – "Insight isn't always buried in depths. Sometimes, it is just at the surface, waiting for someone to find that connection."
  2.  It was absolutely ingenious the way in which Oana brought in an element of play into the presentation itself – using red and green glowsticks to make the audience indicate their preferences. It brought laugher, a certain level of excitement, and was a live demonstration of how that element of play made a 50+ strong audience communicate their real preference (i.e, they would much rather hear Oana talk about board games than engage in an activity – which goes against most presenters’ initial hypotheses about engaging audiences).

Final Comments

This session really had me thinking through how a board game format can potentially be used to test messages. It truly was an incredible session that took the exact opposite route of digitization – and instead focused on something so fundamentally human – play!

QRCA Reporter on the Scene: Meena Aier, Crestview Strategy

Tags:  Focus Groups  QRCA Annual Conference  Reporter on the Scene  Research  Research Methodologies 

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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Keeping Austin Weird - Authentic Insight from Texas Creative

Posted By Laurie Bredenfoerder, BValley Communications, Thursday, March 12, 2020
Updated: Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene:
Keeping Austin Weird - Authentic Insight from Texas Creative

Presenter: Daniel Berkal, The Palmerston Group

 QualPower Blog
Left to right) Professor Ryan Romero; #Texascreative students Rocio Santiago, Esther Shin, Cailyn Wesstrom, Joel Linkewer, Nick Gonzales, and presenter Daniel Berkal

Summary of Conference Session
A unique session at the 2020 QRCA Annual Conference was the “Keeping Austin Weird - Authentic Insight from Texas Creative” panel presentation led by Daniel Berkal.

Art directors and copywriters-to-be enrolled in the #Texas Creative program at UT-Austin share big-picture insights they've gained while completing class assignments. For those QRCs that work in communications, these people will become future clients. But the world has rapidly changed. Different tools are available. The age of creative-test focus groups may be over! The panel focused on questions like “What are the people looking for in their qualitative research?”, “What kinds of methodologies and approaches are most valuable to them?”, and  “What are the needs of the modern creative industry?”

Key Session Takeaways
Personally, I had so many takeaways from this presentation. Gaining this kind of insight was absolutely invaluable to my work. A few highlights from the discussion are:

  • That we, as qualitative professionals, need to "look for the human truth", "use insights to describe how people do things or how things actually function”, and “be out where the people are".
  • To deal with challenges to your creative idea:
    • "I try to think through what the rationale behind the idea is."
    • "There's always water in the well and we need to keep coming back to it."
  • What does the creative process look like for you?
    • "At the beginning, you try to get the 'walls' out of the way. The human truths blow through any personal bias."
    • "Being a great communicator is saying things very simply and clearly."
  • How do you know when a creative idea is good?
    • "People laugh."
    •  "They nod their heads."
    • "Good ideas bring more ideas. Bad ideas stop the conversation."

Aha Moment
Advice from the students' professor, Ryan Romero, on how to accept criticism: "If five people tell you you're drunk, you probably should sit down on the curb."

Final Comments
Try to look out beyond the process and focus on keeping research human. Dan Berkal brought students and QRCA members in a room without giving either group any explanation of what was "supposed to happen" or "why."  It did, and we gained from it. Thanks, Dan and #Texas Creative!"

 

Laurie BredenfoerderQRCA Reporter on the Scene:
Laurie Bredenfoerder, BValley Communications

Tags:  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene  Qualitative  Qualitative Careers  Texas Creative 

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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Wise Ways to Go Forward with Humanity

Posted By Arilene Hernandez, Independent Consultant/Behavioral Health Clinician, Thursday, March 5, 2020
Updated: Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene:
Wise Ways to Go Forward with Humanity

Presenter: Naomi Henderson, RIVA Market Research & Training Institute

 QualPower Blog

Summary of Conference Session
The 2020 QRCA Annual Conference gave all who attended the chance to hear from a plethora of talented and respected speakers, including a bonus keynote, the qualitative superstar herself, Naomi Henderson!

During her closing keynote presentation, “Wise Ways to Go Forward with Humanity”, Naomi gave a look into the story of her birth, a foreshadowing of the uniqueness she was to embody for the rest of her life. This uniqueness bleeds into her work today and led her down the path of training researchers in the art and science of rigorous qualitative research techniques. During her presentation Naomi identified for the audience the four qualities that distinguish qualitative researchers. The main one being that “we are inspired to use those things that make us human to be the translators for those who are deaf to the voice of the consumer.”

Aha Moment
Naomi’s metaphor of how the back of the hand and the palm of the hand represents quant and qual research, respectively, was a fascinating take on how the two worlds of research interact and how qualitative research is so important for clients to understand their consumers.

Final Comments
Naomi’s presentation was a reminder that being human and connecting with other humans is what facilitates great qual research. She inspired the audience to continue to be creative, passionate and embrace humor.

 

Arilene HernandezQRCA Reporter on the Scene:
Arilene Hernandez, Independent Consultant/Behavioral Health Clinician

Tags:  Humanizing Research  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene  Qualitative  Qualitative Research  Quantitative 

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Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Rise of the Robots, Chatbots, Humans!

Posted By Gayle Moberg, Thursday, February 27, 2020
Updated: Thursday, February 27, 2020

Annual Conference Reporter on the Scene: Rise of the Robots, Chatbots, Humans!

Presenter: Kristin Luck, ScaleHouse and Women in Research (WIRe)

Summary

As the opening keynote speaker of the 2020 QRCA Annual Conference where the theme was “Keep Qual Human”, many in attendance were excited to hear how we can marry advances in technology with our qualitative practices and instincts.  Throughout the session, Kristin focused on what we've done right as researchers and more importantly, what we can do better as our industry continues to change and grow.

Above all, Kristin highlighted that we need to be researchers (not just quallies); observers, not just questioners; consultants/synthesizers, not just analysts; storytellers, not just fact reporters; we need to engage with our respondents as humans, not robots. 

Key Session Takeaways

I had so many takeaways from Kristin’s keynote talk the first being that we should all identify as "Researchers," not "Qual" or "Quant." We need to continue to grow our practice which means avoiding older labels and instead focusing on what we all do, research.

Another impactful takeaway from Kristin’s session was that the market research industry is bigger than cloud services, coffee, and digital music. As Kristin put it, "data is the new oil." This of course now means that “traditional" research is now threatened by falling between clients' faster/lower-cost DIY research and consulting firms' ability to move from [tactical] data collection to [strategic] holistic, synthesized recommendations, which resonate with C-suites. Since the C-suite has changed, we must to as researchers. It’s time to become Data Translator/Synthesizers, not just Data Collector/Analyzers and put on our "Research Mullets", Business in front, Party in the back!

Aha Moment

Kristin’s quote: "Data is the new oil” was EYE-OPENING! That's a BIG deal, it really conveys the value of what we do and offer.

Final Comments and Takeaways

We must stop pigeon-holing ourselves as Qual researchers! It’s time to think of ourselves as researchers, storytellers, synthesizers, observers, strategists who engage respondents as HUMANS on their terms, not ours. Let's all go forward to work as humans above all else!

QRCA Reporter on the Scene: Gayle Moberg, GDM Marketing Solutions

 

 

Tags:  Kristin Luck  QRCA Annual Conference  QRCA Reporter on the Scene  qualitative research 

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