Making the Case for Smaller Research Projects (and How Online Research Software Can Help)

“The best way to succeed wasn’t just swinging big and hoping for that one big hit, but by swinging smart and creating momentum through small victories.”

Yesterday was Christmas morning for baseball fans (read: Opening Day), so I can understand the baseball reference in Sean Holbert’s latest post on KL Communications’ IC2 Insights Blog. Not only that, when applied to qualitative research, it’s actually a great analogy.

He’s talking about no longer using a one-methodology-fits-all approach to qualitative research, but using the full spectrum of new research tools that are available to us and making several smaller project out of them. He points to online communities, crowdsourcing and social media analysis as a few of these new tools, but the same argument could be made for mobile qualitative research, online journaling and other online qualitative research solutions. With these tools, he says, “we can truly match each objective to its best methodology. Not only does the smaller scope of each study provide true insights through context, but it also often helps to reduce the cost per study, making it easier to efficiently manage budget.”

He calls this an iterative approach to research and says the benefits go beyond budget: “By conducting more studies with a tighter focus, we’re able to create a more adaptable research model,” he says. “It allows us to avoid drowning in data and instead, to truly act on each valuable insight we find. It will provide us with greater depth and context in our learning, which is vital. Without context, insight is just a data point.”

Easier on the budget and better insight? Pardon the baseball reference, but that sounds like a home run to me!

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