7 Easy Steps to Faster, Automated Qual Research
By Charu Gupta

By now, as a life sciences market researcher, you know that qualitative research can take as many as 10 weeks to complete. But why?

Traditional qual research is often a black box of long, complex processes. It includes everything from finding people to interview, vetting them, coordinating schedules, and a lot of manual data entry in between. Every step takes time, and it adds up. While you may not be involved in all the day-to-day hassle, you know that it’s impacting your ability to get qualitative insights faster.

In a recent survey we conducted of about 100 life sciences market researchers, 40% said they would like to invest in automated, online qualitative solutions that simplify the process, make it transparent, and return insights much more quickly.

About 12% said they are investing in “digital qual,” which can also refer to online focus groups, bulletin boards, or community forums, in addition to automated qual processes. 

Automation, respect for participants’ time, and micro research methodology is often the key to faster, better qual insights.

So, if you’re one of those market researchers looking for an automated qual solution to invest in, here are the major factors to consider:

  1. Automated recruitment, screening, and disclosures

    Once recruited, based on initial demographic and specialty criteria, participants should get an automated, quant-style survey with additional screening questions. This screening survey should also opt them in and provide the standard research disclosures and complianceall towards maximizing the time spent in the actual interview on topics of substance.

  2. Automated logistics and scheduling

    Real-time scheduling should be built into the automated screening process. Once time slots are selected, automated processes should kick in to handle everything from sending calendar invitation emails to reminders, and even rescheduling.

  3. Moderators with subject-matter expertise

    If you don’t already have your own moderators, make sure moderators are being selected for you with expertise in your therapeutic area. Also look for moderators with schedule flexibility so that in a real-time setting, they can be available when your participants are.

  4. 20-minute interviews

    The average qual interview is 45 minutes. But the first 20 minutes is going through disclosures and opting participants in. The substantive core of these interviews is effectively only 20-25 minutes. That time duration is your sweet spot.In a recent survey of about 100 physicians, of the 42 who have not participated in qual interviews, over one-third said that they have foregone a qual interview opportunity because of the time commitment. However, nearly 70 percent of this group said that shorter time frames, in the range of 15-20 minutes, would encourage them to participate more.So once you automate the logistics, screening, and required disclosures, and get to 20-minute interviews, you also increase your pool of available and willing participants.

  5. Seamless follow-up

    Some platforms are providing the ability to move seamlessly between quant and qual projects. For example, you notice in your quant survey that a group of physicians is seeing 90 patients when the average is 50 patients. You can pull these doctors into a follow-up qual survey to ask them why they’re seeing 90 patients.

  6. Centralized data sharing

    As discussion guides, transcripts, translations, analyses, and other research materials pile up, an organized, centralized way to store and filter all this data becomes important. Look for on-demand data hubs through which all research stakeholders can access the most up-to-date information.

  7. Analysis & Storytelling

    Once your interviews are completed, how is the data analysis presented? How will you best be able to share and socialize the findings? A growing visual culture demands that research results go beyond the traditional powerpoint. Ask about data visualizations and storytelling as ways to give your research more legs, and a longer shelf life.

    At InCrowd, automated qual means completing a scope of individual, face-to-face interviews in up to seven days!

    See our “MicroStory” example

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