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Qualitative Research

Focus Groups

Precision Research has conducted numerous focus group efforts, all within a variety of industries. We provide moderating, recruitment and site-selection services for companies who wish to conduct focus group studies. Focus groups are an excellent technique for bringing together individuals having some common interest or characteristics, to interact as a way to gain information about a specific or focused issue. Specifically, focus groups can be used to:

  • Gain information on how people think or feel about a particular topic
  • Give greater insight into why certain opinions are held
  • Help improve the planning and design of new programs
  • Provide a means of evaluating existing programs
  • Produce insights for developing strategies for outreach
  • Test advertising concepts
  • Gain insight into specific verbiage and visual stimuli
  • Gather context rich information on product and brand positioning platforms

Focus groups are typically most useful when deployed in conjunction with other, quantitative research techniques, due primarily to the limitations associated with qualitative research which is valuable in providing context, or directional information, but does not provide statistically valid results.

In-Depth Interviews

Precision Research retains interviewers with specialized training and years of experience in the nuances of conducting long-form, or in-depth interviews. Similar to focus groups, in-depth interviews explore in context what people think, feel, and experience and therefore place a premium on interviewing skills. Our interviewers are trained in establishing a rapport with the respondent by probing and prompting without influencing respondent answers.

In-depth interviews are used to explore conceptual issues at an early stage in the development of a questionnaire. They can look at how respondents' answers to the questions relate to their actual experiences. This technique can also be used to explore topics in their own right, to provide more depth about a subject or individual cases than a quantitative survey, or to complement quantitative enquiry. Issues can be explored in detail with participants.

In-depth interviews involve open-ended questions asked by a researcher to an individual. Interviewers use a topic guide but do not rely on a structured question set. Probing techniques are used to encourage respondents to give the fullest answer possible. In some instances, in-depth interviews can be used to obtain information that they can then use to develop quantitative surveys once this detailed and context-rich information has been gathered. Others find that interviews give them all the information they need without conducting a later survey.

Precision Research has conducted in-depth interviews in the following areas:

  • Provide a history of behavior by conducting interviews over time with the same individuals to evaluate if any change has occurred.
  • Highlight individual versus group concerns; especially sensitive or competitive topics that may not arise in a group situation.
  • Reveal divergent experiences and “outlier” attitudes. Groups often do not allow you to see that experiences may vary person to person.
  • Provide a shortcut to community norms by interviewing key community leaders giving a fast overview of the community, its needs and concerns.
  • Develop other research tools by using the results from an interview to generate focus group questions or help form questions for a survey.

Often, in-depth interviews are the best way to engage low-literacy populations. Structured interviews can take the place of questionnaires for clients who may have difficulty filling out forms.

Qualitative Research