Wrangling Insights From Your Qualitative Research [+Webinar]

To learn about this topic more in-depth, watch our on-demand webinar: Fueling Your Product Strategy with Qualitative Research.

Download the Customer Site Visit Canvas to help you quickly capture the most important information so you can identify the insights that matter most.

Because interpreting qualitative data is time-consuming and subjective it is often underutilized or left behind altogether when building product strategy.

You have been dutifully interviewing customers and observing focus groups, producing mountains of notes. You sense there are great insights available, but they feel just out of your reach. How do you process through voluminous and unorganized research to drive your product strategy?

Your Product Strategy Requires Mixed-Methods Research

In the article, Data-Driven Product Management: How to Become Insight-Driven, Roger Snyder discussed the wide variety of both qualitative and quantitative research that feeds into your product strategy. While many people can define quantitative metrics that feed nicely into a dashboard report—active users, conversion rates, stickiness, sales rates, and so on—how do you gain insights from qualitative data? There is no dashboard, for “what problems are my customers experiencing today?”

Having Qualitative Research is Not the Same as Using Qualitative Research

Every time you speak to a prospect or customer in a sales call, support call, interview, or observe them in a focus group you could be capturing qualitative research. This research builds up the story of your market segment. But where does all this data go? How do you organize and share it? And how do you derive real insights from it?

We’ve seen many problematic approaches:

  • Some Product Managers write a summary of the conversation and store it in a shared drive
  • Some relay their insights to other team members, such as marketing or customer experience (CX), and hope that they know what to do with it
  • Some avoid the problem by speaking to only a few customers and acting on the first piece of information they encounter, not knowing how widespread that opinion may be
  • Some come into great insights but are unable to trace these back to specific customers or personas, losing credibility when they seek approval to act on the information

Because interpreting qualitative data is time-consuming and subjective it is often underutilized or left behind altogether when building product strategy.

From Research to Insights

In our on-demand webinar, Fueling Your Product Strategy with Qualitative Research, I show you the fundamentals of documenting, coding, and theming your data so that you, along with others in your organization, can extract the hidden gems necessary to be successful in your market.

We begin by outlining the key types of data that you should be collecting in your research. Knowing where to look and what to look for is the first step in reigning in data overload. Then we move into the three phases of processing the data so that your investment of time and effort will deliver insights that can easily be missed by your competition. We even discuss how to involve other team members such as marketing and CX into the process, increasing the accuracy of your findings.

From Insights to Strategy

Once you have insights from your research, you need to apply these insights to adjust or overhaul your product strategy. We’ll look at key elements of a product strategy and how your insights may impact them at different stages of the product process.

You Don’t Have Time to Skip Qualitative Research

It may feel counter-intuitive but taking the time to invest in qualitative research is the most important thing you can do in a competitive market. The insights gained from your customers are what guide the development of your competitive advantages. Rather than a blind rush to failure, qualitative research invites you to move thoughtfully, but quickly, in the right direction to success.

Watch our on-demand webinar so you can learn how to gain the upper hand on qualitative research and apply it more effectively to your product strategy.

WATCH NOW

Download the Customer Site Visit Canvas to help you quickly capture the most important information so you can identify the insights that matter most.

About the Author

Colleen Product Manager Skills
Colleen O’Rourke is a Principal Consultant/Trainer at 280 Group.
Colleen has 20 years of experience in the technology business, working in engineering as well as program and product management in startups to Fortune 500 companies. Colleen’s diverse experience includes complex CAD software platforms, project management SAAS systems, and hardware products and consumables manufactured in the US. 280 Group is the world’s leading Product Management training and consulting firm. We help companies and individuals do GREAT Product Management and Product Marketing using our Optimal Product Process™.

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