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Do We Really Need to Ask? Part 2

01 August

Deb’s post about whether there’s a need to ask gender on screening questionnaires made me recall a conversation she and I had about a different survey. Deb and I have been colleagues and friends for years now, so I felt comfortable asking her why she worded one of the questions this way: What is your current marital status? Married/living with partner […]

Gender: Do we really need to ask?

04 June

I’m a qualitative researcher, and I regularly write screening questionnaires. The basic demographic questions we have asked for decades are: age, gender, marital status, education, employment and sometimes ethnicity. We do this for two reasons: 1) to ensure we include a mix of people, and 2) to exclude people who have no experience or interest […]

Myths, Truths and Changes in Qualitative Research

25 March

Qualitative research is practiced by a relatively small group of people seeking answers to questions about humans and our relationship to the world we inhabit. The sub-category known as qualitative market research is especially misunderstood. Perhaps this is because things change more rapidly in the business world than in the academic world. Whatever the reasons, […]

Information Empathy and Infographics

17 March

Edward Tufte, the father of data visualization, turned 74 earlier this week. Tufte is a fellow of the American Statistical Association, and has written extensively on the value of beautifully designed data illustrations, with respect for the reader’s time and intelligence of main concern. He coined the term “chartjunk” – the visual elements that clutter […]

Forging New Product Categories

12 January

Energems was recently accepted as a member at the Council for Responsible Nutrition paving the way for a totally new product category: supplemented chocolates. We hear a lot about “disruption” of existing categories, but defining a whole new product category is equally innovative and requires a firm grasp on consumer attitudes and behavior to be […]

Focus Groups: Planning for Success

16 December

I was recently asked to answer this question about focus groups on Quora: What type of information do market research firms request from their clients to successfully conduct focus groups? What is the optimal format for this information? My answer may be useful for those of you who are considering conducting focus groups in the […]

6 Holiday Trends for 2015

08 December

With the 2015 holiday season in full swing, here are the latest trends and stories that caught our attention: The backlash against stores starting “Black Friday” on Thanksgiving (sometimes even before the pumpkin pie has been served!) continued this year. In a refreshing return to normalcy, REI, Costco, Nordstrom and other chains chose to give their […]