In our previous post, we discussed the different types of data that are integral to data analytics as well as developing better insights for your business. Whether you’re a marketer, a data scientist, an entrepreneur – or just someone interested in learning about how data works – it’s critical to understand the importance of primary data in qualitative research studies.
If you missed Part One, you can find it here.
The focus group is likely the more popular of the two common types of primary data sourcing. Moreover, a focus group is made up of similar or non-similar individual participants. The aim is to get some insight out of their discussion. While the session is typically facilitated by a moderator, the key part of any focus group is to see how they interact with each other when asked to discuss a topic.
Often, this interaction between people can bring richer ideas to light in a way that normal discussions often don’t. In a way, it’s a simulation of real-life discussions amongst peer groups regarding any particular topic.
For example, if you get several college-age students to discuss their favorite TV show, each one may simply bring up their latest pick of the month. But, you can put them into a facilitated focus group discussion. Now, you may be able to have them discuss the different aspects of the show that they like. This will help to better understand what appeals to this specific demographic.
(You can listen to the full episode of the podcast below.)
The In-Depth Interview
The in-depth is the flipside of this primary data collection. Instead of a group setting, you utilize an interaction with an individual (or group of individuals) one response at a time.
Instead of leveraging the effect of group dynamics in developing insights, in-depth interviews can give you better detail and deeper insights into specific questions you might have about any given topic.
You can even use this opportunity to challenge specific ideas or beliefs to observe how individuals react to pushback.
While both are clearly distinguishable from one another, that’s not to say that one trumps another in effectiveness. Each primary data sourcing execution has its pros and cons depending on the situation.
Focus groups are often only useful when done in a conducive setting and with a topic that is appropriate to discuss in a group setting. If your topic is sensitive or if you can’t manage to hold a conducive group facilitated discussion, then in-depth interviews are a good choice to go for. Moreover, many of these discussions are compensated to the respondents. The average price of participation is roughly $60 for a 30-40 minute session. This can definitely bloat when sourcing multiple responses. As such, it’s important to check on your study’s financial capacity as well.
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