What Are Qualitative Analytics Techniques?
Qualitative Analytics involve the application of quantitative or statistical techniques to data collected in focus groups or other qualitative research exercises.

Qualitative Analytics are Controversial
While the technique has been employed for years by qualitative researchers who have strong statistical capabilities, Qualitative Analytics are often misunderstood by market researchers and have tended to be quite controversial. The main objection to the use of statistical procedures with qualitative database is that the size of the sample in most qualitative studies is insufficient for the application of conventional statistical techniques. Indeed this often is the case. A typical qualitative study consists of samples of less than 50 respondents (e.g., six groups with eight respondents per session) and would, by conventional statistical standards, have a 95 % confidence interval of ± 13.8 %. This is clearly an inadequate sample to draw conclusions of a definitive nature concerning most matters of inquiry.

The Responsible Application of Qualitative Analytics
Qualitative Analytics are not intended to replace rigorous quantitative research. Hence, Qualitative Analytics should not be used to provide estimates of incidence or polling statistics. However, there are at least three ways Lang Research has found Qualitative Analytics useful:

  Content Analysis: Content Analysis is the codification of verbatim responses on a given issue. These tallies provide a clear indication of the extent to which various comments were made over a series of focus groups. Content Analysis is intended to replace the subjective interpretation of qualitative researchers (i.e., some, few, rarely, most) and allows end-users of the research to participate more fully in the interpretation of response patterns.
  Respondent Tagging: Respondent tagging involves recording how each respondent felt about each issue during the session. When combined with session questionnaire data, the Qualitative Analytics allow patterns to be identified in the opinions of individual respondents. These patterns can then be clustered to identify distinctive and coherent points of view.
  Repeated Measure Exercises: With this approach, responses are asked to provide a series of responses in a questionnaire format. For example, respondents may be asked to rate a number of brands across a series of image attributes or may be asked to rate the appeal of a number of variations on a product. These data are then used to construct expanded datasets which employ the brand, test product or other evaluated entity as the unit of analysis. Repeated measure exercises can be used to construct databases of several hundred responses allowing conventional statistical techniques to be applied.

Qualitative Analytics Add Value to Qualitative Studies
The Qualitative Analytics are now routinely applied in the qualitative studies conducted by Lang Research. This approach highlights the distinctiveness of individuals and provides a much deeper understanding of the factors which influence evaluations and behaviours than is possible from the traditional interpretation of response patterns.



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