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Home > Qualitative Research > Solutions > Online Tools

Online Tools

Increasingly, Scorpio Research is taking advantage of the internet as a qualitative research tool. Online research affords a number of inherent efficiencies, including the ability to reach participants and clients anywhere in the world, reduction or elimination of travel and logistics costs, shortened overall project timelines, and greater flexibility in research design and execution. While online research should never completely replace face-to-face methods, Scorpio Research offers several tools which leverage the power, technology, and reach of the internet for gathering information.

  • Online Focus Groups
    Similar to traditional focus groups, online focus groups comprise participants from the target of interest who log on to conferencing software at a pre-arranged time. During online discussions, participants interact with each other as well as the moderator in real time to generate deeper insights about the topic. Key benefits of online focus groups are:
    • Ability to engage participants from multiple geographic locations in one virtual place at one time
    • Access to hard-to-reach or over-accessed research populations
    • Reduction in travel expenses and logistics
    • Greater perceived �anonymity� for discussing sensitive or controversial topics
Scorpio Research conducts online focus groups in a secure web-based chat environment, led by experienced moderators. Like in-person groups, there are typically 6-10 participants, though sometimes groups may comprise as many as fifteen. During the groups, clients may observe the discussion in real-time from any computer terminal with internet access. Private messaging allows observers to communicate directly with the moderator at any point during the focus group. The session is automatically recorded and clients receive a full verbatim transcript that is downloadable into various formats.

It is important to note that online focus groups are not suitable for every study. Scorpio Research helps our clients determine when and how to most effectively use this methodology.

  • Online Bulletin Boards
    Scorpio Research�s newest technology, online Bulletin Board sessions are also known as �asynchronous groups.� They are conducted over a period of time rather than in real time. The benefit: participants join in the research when it is convenient for them. And they can take more time to formulate answers, generating a richness of information and insights not always accessible in real time methodologies. Online Bulletin Boards encourage in-depth exploration of topics, on-going product or service evaluation, and brainstorming of ideas.

    Our Bulletin Boards are typically held as multi-day (3-5 days) sessions during which participants answer questions posted by a moderator and respond to comments posted by other participants. All of the discussion is visible to the moderator, participants, as well as client observers who can watch from a virtual back room. It is possible to embed stimuli such as photos or video for feedback. Once complete, the entire transcript in available for download in various formats.
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