a robot and human about to shake hands representing humans and tech coming together for better qualitative research

Qual is Dead. Long Live Qual 3.0

January 20, 2020

Perhaps unsurprisingly to those of us who deliver it day in, day out, it seems that reports of the death of qualitative research have been greatly exaggerated.

A discipline that started out as a way of breathing life, understanding and empathy into otherwise cold, blunt statistics – thereby enabling more intuitive and confident decision making – continues to be needed to do, well, exactly that.

Moreover, as the data available to, and is collected within, businesses increases, so does the need to get better understanding of the human beings behind that data – and to build connections between them and the people making the decisions that affect them. To fill the ‘empathy gap’ that so many of our clients are now experiencing.

But the way we go about building that empathy has evolved.

We started life using only rich, classic techniques that helped us truly connect with people and get under the skin of what drove them. However, those techniques – and the processes and analysis time associated with them – took time that wasn’t always helpful within the world of business.

From there, the industry rushed headlong into the technological age, trying (and often failing) to replicate what we’d been doing in the face-to-face world with sub-optimal digital solutions that neither sped up, nor improved, our work.

Now, we’re re-emerging into a golden age. Where the tools at our disposal have improved, where we’ve learned which ones genuinely deliver improvement and efficiencies, and where the importance of human interpretation and interaction is once again being recognised.

We’re calling this new age Qual 3.0. A hybrid of tech-enabled and classic approaches that combines the best of technological efficiency with deep human understanding and smart interpretation. If you want to read more, then our in-depth article is over on Research-Live.

We are at the forefront of this new age, so just get in touch if you want to hear how Qual 3.0 can deliver for you.

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