Qualitative Research: Fast, Flexible, and Full of Truths

by Zach Mullen

If there’s ever been a year where structure has taken a back seat, 2020 would be it.

Today’s consumer is far less predictable, and organizations are exerting more and more effort to keep up. In a landscape full of unknowns, qualitative research is an invaluable resource when looking to extract hard-to-find insights from the even harder-to-access recesses of the consumer psyche.

So, what makes qualitative worth considering? At Burke, it’s our intersection of speed, flexibility, and rigor.

Qual is agile.
Agility is more than just speed – it’s the ability to adapt to dynamic environments in real time. Need to gut-check something? Want to quickly narrow ten concepts down to five? Digital options like online bulletin boards, mobile ethnographies, and digital diaries offer in-moment probing and real-time observation so clients can be at the forefront of their research. And with the results exported same day, organizations have immediate access to the information they need.

Qual is malleable. 
Frequent reassessment and adaptation is critical to unlocking new solutions. Did a respondent just say something that sparked an idea? Unstructured data collection via free-flowing conversation allows for digging in. By its very nature, qualitative research grants organizations permission to ‘read the room’ and follow a nugget down paths that may lead to an entirely new idea, product, market, or approach. It lends itself to giving the proper depth of insights so organizations can hit the ground running.

Qual is reliable. 
Above all else, quality and rigor are top priorities. By utilizing a network of vetted moderators, in-house experts, and trusted partners, qualitative research offers a fully-customized solution for every project. And with right-sized findings, it provides an on-target deliverable ready to make an impact. Finally, qualitative offers a direct line to consumers. Unfiltered thoughts and actions are on full display, resulting in a reliable illumination of truths.

In a world that seemingly lacks structure, there’s never been a better time to examine unstructured data via qualitative research.

Zach Mullen is an Associate Account Manager with Burke’s qualitative research department.

Interested in reading more? Check out Zach’s other article:

Leveraging Technology to Keep In-Person Research Moving Forward

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Sources: Feature Image – ©fizkes –


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