Hybrid research is increasingly available, and it’s easy to see why. In many cases, mixing quantitative and qualitative methods offer greater breadth without compromising specificity. Input is more accessible and faster via online focus groups and the like, but they also compliment quantitative projects in a number of ways.
What Hybrid Actually Means
The term “hybrid” covers a range of techniques and methods. Panels that feature unprompted, open discussion, interviews of two or three participants, and similar techniques are all often called hybrid. They certainly add scope to a study, as well offer the benefit of observing how groups build consensus about a product.
Online techniques, meanwhile, radically expand the amount of participants who can join a qualitative study. Input from dozens, if not hundreds, of interviews and focus panels is possible in a fraction of the time that traditional studies require. The duration of each session or interview depends on the study, but they are typically shorter than the usual length. Questions are usually focused on a specific area, oftentimes developed from previous study phases. While they can imply a larger amount of participants, hybrid as a term also covers areas where quant and qual both fit within the study.
- Follow-ups, typically qualitative, are useful for researchers looking to gauge how opinions in a previous study have changed
- Supplementary investigations are ideal for researchers with further question about a finding, qualitative or quantitative
- Pairing allows researchers to gather qualitative input from a substantial enough pool that it can be further quantified
Mutual Validation for More Accurate Insight
Combining quantitative and qualitative methods also serves as a validation technique. The qualitative element offers greater depth to answers, as well enables researchers to learn about the participants’ reactions to the study. Such input helps researchers better understand the effectiveness of their questions, interview style, or other factors that can affect responsiveness or outlook.
Hybrid methods offer ample room for honing practice or approach, but that is only the first step for an effective study. More intrinsically, qual and quant also enable researchers to further verify their data while building on it. Quantitative researchers can learn the reasons behind answers in previous studies, as well receive other valuable insight. Qualitative researchers, meanwhile, can further verify answers and opinions by comparing them to larger segments.
Relevant Input,on Any Scale
The increasing popularity of hybrid methods is no accident. Markets are changing at the speed of their internet connection, oftentimes . Enterprises, in turn, require data at perpetually faster rates. Relevency has always been important, but never has it been more elusive for traditional research methods. Research techniques are increasingly going online, both to keep pace with markets and to better understand them. Hybrid methods are only one of the ways that market research is changing. Contact us or try our demo today to learn how our methods can improve your research.
Zach Simmons is the Founder and president of Discuss.io. Zach has 20 years of experience building software. Prior to founding Discuss.io, he was the Technical Product Manager for Amazon Web Services (S3) where he ran the team that built the infrastructure that now powers a significant percentage of the modern Internet. Zach holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
An entrepreneurial leader, Zach is passionate about building disruptive and agile SaaS based market research startups as an alternative to traditional market research. Seeing a need for change within the Industry, Zach launched Discuss.io, bringing Market Research to the digital age.