Selecting a Qualitative Research Consultant | Selecting a Moderator

How to Select a Qualitative Researcher – August 21, 2012

Three things to think about when selecting a qualitative researcher

Moderating is complex. So, it will come as no surprise that the quality of your results is tied directly to the expertise of the moderator running the project. After all, qualitative research isn’t just about asking questions and recording responses; it’s about probing for authentic feedback; recognizing subtleties in the various responses; understanding the broad implications of the data; and turning that information into actionable insights. While not technically rocket science, at times it comes close. Doyle Research is a leader in the qualitative research industry because we have the best moderators in the business. We find them by focusing on three things: Experience, Professional Commitment, and Trust.

Experience is key; but it’s more than just running groups

Effective moderators are better understood as qualitative research consultants that bring years of both research and real-world knowledge to the table. Our moderators are communicators, marketers, psychologists, policy advisers, and business people, on top of being the best qualitative researchers around. That matters, because we aren’t just asking questions; we’re probing for insights that will bring tangible results to your business. To achieve this, you need depth AND breadth of knowledge.

Commitment to the profession translates into quality for the client

Being an effective researcher requires professional commitment. It means participating in forums, staying on top of standards and best practices from colleagues around the country, engaging with professional organizations, and leading the pack with new methods, technologies, and techniques. Doyle Research makes it a point to teach what we know to our peers in the industry. We participate on the boards of professional organizations like QRCA. We spend time making relationships in the world of qualitative research that benefit our team, our clients, and ultimately, the respondents that trust us with their time. It is important that the moderator(s) you use are engaged; not just in your project, but in the industry as a whole.

If you don’t have trust, nothing else matters

Trust trumps everything when it comes to selecting a moderator. Our clients have to trust us; respondents have to trust us; if we don’t have that, we can’t be successful. Of course, trust doesn’t come easily. We have built our business around being focused on client needs, understanding research and business objectives, anticipating project requirements, and being a partner to both clients and participants alike. Moderators are, in essence, partners for your business. You need to be able to trust them implicitly, and that trust starts with an understanding of your business, and a respect for your unique situation. Because, let’s face it: every situation is, ultimately, as unique as the business you’re running. A moderator who understands that will get the best results.