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Winners of Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA) 2017 Young Professionals Grant Announced

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QRCA) has announced the winners of its 2017 Young Professionals Grant (YPG) program:

  • Caitlin Homstad, The Research Partnership, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Sarah Brown, Kelton, Los Angeles, California
  • Russell Edwards, Precision Dialogue and University of South Florida Applied Anthropology Ph.D. candidate, Tampa, Florida
  • Rebecca Fowler, FedEx Services, Memphis, Tennessee
  • Bernadette Lockamyeir, Consumer Insights, Rochester, New York
  • Jennifer Myers, Ipsos RDA, Macomb, Michigan
  • Brandon Richard, The Link Group, Durham, North Carolina
  • Keith J. Romer, The Garage Group, Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Daniela Rubio, Independent Consultant, San Francisco, California
  • Kelsey Segaloff, Chadwick Martin Bailey, Boston, Massachusetts  
  • Nathalia Vega, Blackstone Group, Chicago, Illinois
  • Ashleigh Williams, C+R Research, Chicago, Illinois

The QRCA thanks its YPG partners, FocusVision, M/A/R/C Research and Schlesinger Associates, for their generosity in increasing the number of grants they funded from 10 to 12 due to the high volume of applications received.

These recipients, who demonstrated keen interest and dedication to the field, have been awarded passes to attend the QRCA’s Annual Conference in Los Angeles, California, January 18-20, 2017. This annual conference is the premier gathering for qualitative practitioners (QRCs), with unparalleled opportunities to connect and network with other QRCs, expand and strengthen skill sets via hands-on collaborative practice, learn from the best of the best in the industry, refresh your perspective, and reinvigorate your business with new methodologies, tools, and partners.

“The YPG program has been such a wonderful win/win/win for the QRCA as a whole, our members and the grant recipients,” says QRCA President Manny Schrager. “Former grant winners have become actively engaged QRCA members, seeing how membership and volunteering leads to continued growth through both learning and networking.  Current members enjoy meeting with recipients who often bring fresh thinking to their approach to qualitative research. We’re excited to once again have so many highly qualified applicants which made the job of the selection committee a very difficult one.”

For more information about the YPG program, please visit qrca.org/ypg and follow #YoungQRCA on Twitter.

Tags:  2017  grant winner  young professionals grant  young qrca 

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The QRCA Annual Conference Team Invites You to Take an On-site Tour

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, November 16, 2016
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We are already nearing 100 attendees for the QRCA Annual Conference – wow! If you haven’t already committed to join us, take a quick tour with conference co-chairs Jeff Walkowski and Kate Wagenlander-Watson! Learn more about our fabulous conference hotel and prepare to get powerful new perspectives on Qualitative Research. Three full days of cutting-edge information, now open to more research professionals than ever before.

Get all the details or register today!

register today

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Exploring the Hidden Gems of Boyle Heights and East L.A.

Posted By Susanna (Whitmore) Fránek, Cultural Anthropologist, Ethnologix, Wednesday, November 16, 2016
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Need some relief from the election outcome? Anyone remember Cheech and Chong from the 1970s?  Born in East LA?  Check it out, and if by chance you’re staying over the weekend after the conference, might I suggest you go east instead of west for something different?  

Exploring L.A.’s “real” Eastside — not Silver Lake or Echo Park — if not Boyle Heights and East L.A., just might resonate with some QRCA out-of-towners.  To get there, you can either walk from the hotel or take Uber to the Metro Gold Line at the Little Tokyo/Arts District station on Alameda. Go 2 stops to Mariachi Plaza in Boyle Heights.

Although the majority population in Boyle Heights and ELA is now Latino, the area (since its modern inception in the late 1880s) has been referred to as the Ellis Island of the West, reflecting diverse communities from Eastern Europe, from across the Pacific and Mexico, all of which settled in the area.  

For example, the black and Italian labor force built many of the great Queen Ann and Victorian mansions in Boyle Heights.

Russian Molokans, Serbians and Armenians fleeing the horrors of repression in their homelands made it their home, as did smaller pockets of Japanese and Chinese families that migrated over the river from Little Tokyo and Chinatown.

The acceleration of repression against Jews throughout Eastern Europe saw the development of the largest Jewish community in Los Angeles. By the late 1930s, Brooklyn Avenue, renamed César Chávez Avenue in 1994, was the main thoroughfare of Jewish L.A.  

During those same years, the instability during the Revolution in Mexico brought a significant concentration of Mexican migration to the U.S. Cheap housing, employment and a tolerant community attracted Mexicanos into the area; their cultural life, churches, schools, and clubs grew alongside the Jewish community. Jews and Mexicans lived side by side, studied, played sports and conducted business together; even left wing thinkers met and organized, which is perhaps part of the legacy of political activism that’s still alive and well today.

Today at Mariachi Plaza the refurbished historic Boyle hotel, built in 1898, is an important historical icon that’s part of the predominantly blue-collar, immigrant Mexican neighborhood, yet the area is now in full swing gentrification. The historic hotel is where mariachis have lived and jammed for over half a century; the plaza in front is where they still hang out waiting to be hired.  The rise of spaces such as Libros Schmibros, a lending library and bookstore also on the plaza, attest to the creation of new cultural spaces that have the potential to bring both East and Westside communities together. Yet, new development implies relocation for many families in the area; an ongoing debate is taking place about the future of the mariachis and other long-time residents.

Walking Brooklyn Avenue back in the day, you’d experience a vibrant cultural life and a commerce community of bustling storefront businesses where more Yiddish was spoken than English. After WWII, the community migrated west to the Fairfax district and into the San Fernando Valley, but the Jewish legacy in Boyle Heights and East L.A. is still present today.

The Breed Street Shul, a beacon of Jewish heritage, is just a mile walk up César Chávez, then a right on Breed Street. While the front building is currently under renovation, its back building is now a cross-cultural community center that connects historical and modern day Boyle Heights. Creative mixed use of the space includes Day of the Dead festivities and Passover services, for either Quinceañeras or Bar Mitzvahs. In today’s political environment, these examples of cultural coexistence are sorely needed. 

To go deeper, one just needs to explore the handful of cemeteries that dot the Eastside landscape to get a sense for the demographic transitions that have taken place over the past century, and that attest to the natural flow of ethnically diverse residents from other parts of town that migrated in and out of the area.

There are the Serbian and Chinese cemeteries, the large Evergreen and Calvary cemeteries. One of the first mortuaries was founded and is still run by a French Basque family.

There are two Jewish cemeteries: At Home of Peace, noted rabbis, along with Curly and Shemp Howard of the Three Stooges, and Warner Bros. co-founder Jack Warner, are laid to rest. Then there’s Mount Zion, in need of dire repair. The great Yiddish writer Lamed Shapiro, who wrote stories about the horrendous pograms in Eastern Europe, died a pauper in L.A., and was buried there.

That’s a lot to take in, so here are some suggestions for lunch:

La Serenata Garibaldi, across the street from Mariachi plaza.

Or you can try some traditional Mexican birria (goat stew) at Birriería Dedonboni just up the street from Mariachi plaza.

Guisados is over on César Chávez Ave. not far from the Breed Street Shul.

Let me know if you’d like some company exploring these prized treasures. I’m also game to play tour guide!

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Predicting Election 2016: What Worked, What Didn’t and the Implications for Marketing & Insights

Posted By Leonard Murphy, Greenbook, Wednesday, November 16, 2016
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Almost everyone failed to predict the outcome of the 2016 U.S. election, and the winner came as a shock to many pollsters, the media, and people in the U.S. and around the world. How did we get it so wrong, and what does this mean for marketing and insights?

On November 29th, we’ll be exploring that very topic at our upcoming event, Predicting Election 2016: What Worked, What didn’t and the Implications for Marketing & Insights, brought to you by GreenBook and the ARF.

The event will take place from 8:30am to 11am.  We’ll start with webinar with 4 short presentations related to new thinking about predicting election results and then transition to a live-streamed panel with key thought leaders and experts for a lively discussion on what we can learn from this election cycle related to tools to predict outcomes. The agenda is still coming together so look for an update on specific presenters soon, but trust us, it’s going to be very, very good.

For those in New York, we’d love to have you join us live at the ARF Headquarters in New York, but the event will be available to join virtually as well.

Register here: http://thearf.org/event/nov-29-2016-predicting-election-2016/

During this event, we won’t be rehash the polls or outcome of the election, but rather explore the implications of this polling failure for commercial research and analytics on the things that are important to our industry: trust in research (especially surveys!), new tools and techniques, predicting & modeling behavior or trends, implicit vs. explicit data sources, the application of cognitive & behavioral psychology, and more.

Now is the time to have meaningful conversations about the lessons learned from this election cycle and to apply those learnings to not only political polling, but public policy and commercial research in all of their many forms. Arguably approaches using experimental polling methods social media analyticsbehavioral economics-based analysis“big data”meta analysis and data synthesis, and text analytics were more predictive of the results than traditional polling, and the implications of that for other forms of research should not be ignored. Conversely, are some of the approached pioneered in commercial research for ad testing, forecasting, attribution modelling, etc.. applicable to increase the accuracy of polling?

We’ll be tackling all of these topics and more during this joint program with the ARF, so we hope you’ll join us virtually or in person for the discussion!

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Qually Finalists Announced!

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, November 9, 2016
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After careful consideration of all entries, we are excited to share the six proposals that were selected as finalists for the 2017 award. These proposals showcase some of the fresh, smart, forward-thinking and talented professionals that make up QRCA. These proposals are in response to a hypothetical RFP that was posted here.

The winner of the 2017 QRCA Qualitative Excellence Award winner is selected from amongst the finalists by QRCA members in a blinded vote. You can only vote once.

The winner (or winning team) of the 2017 Qualitative Excellence Award will be announced at the Annual Conference in Los Angeles on January 19 and receive a $1,000 prize.

As we now know, your vote is extremely important. Click here to view the finalists!

Tags:  2017 winners  qually award winners  submissions  vote 

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Stay the Weekend to Explore Some of Downtown L.A.’s (DTLA) Hidden Gems

Posted By Susanna (Whitmore) Fránek, Cultural Anthropologist, Ethnologix Susanna_franek@ethnologix.com, Wednesday, October 12, 2016
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Have you ever wondered how Harold Lloyd filmed his famous clock scene in Safety Last! (1923)?  Are you a movie buff who knows the answers to obscure questions on quiz shows about old Hollywood films? Maybe you’re an architectural enthusiast interested in old historic buildings, or perhaps old movie theaters make you feel part of a bygone era.

If intrigued even slightly by Hollywood’s Golden Era, one good reason out of many to stay in DTLA over the weekend following the January 18 – 20, 2017 QRCA Annual Conference is to catch a Saturday, 10:00AM Los Angeles Conservancy walking tour of DTLA’s opulent theatre district.

https://www.laconservancy.org/events/broadway-historic-theatre-and-commercial-district-walking-tour

The 6-block, South Broadway corridor — just 7 blocks from the JW Marriott — is home to the first and largest historic theatre district in the world.

Fifteen movie palaces line the Broadway corridor. The larger theaters have gone through stages of renovation and stand as magnificent as when they opened during 1910 and the early 1930s. The smaller theaters have converted into flea markets, churches, or still remain part DTLA’s jewelry mart.

The walking tour focuses on the unique architectural history of the movie palaces. It is only $15 for 2.5-hours, and led by well-versed volunteer docents that have great stories of lore to share. At least a month out, you should go online to register for Saturday the 21st, reservations are required.

As an extra bonus, you’ll get a sense for Broadway’s ongoing revitalization. The many cultures of Los Angeles converge as quinceañera shops and botanicas still coexist with new restaurants, galleries and urban retail that cater to both L.A.’s Latino community and the newer condo/apartment-renting downtown residents.  DTLA’s renaissance has been in full swing for decades, gentrification positions the old and the new alongside each other, yet the jury is still out on its sustainability. Displacement of Latino-owned businesses is an ongoing controversy, but along Broadway you can still capture that cultural comingling.

And in case you’re a die-hard Hollywood film aficionado, here’s the specifics on exactly where (9th and Broadway) and how Harold Lloyd created his stunts for Safety Last!

After your walking tour, there are multiple options for lunch. You might want to explore the renovated Clifton’s Cafeteria on 7th and Broadway, or the Grand Central Market between 5th & 4th Streets — L.A.'s oldest and largest open-air market — where dozens of food vendors will whet your appetite; with either option you’ll relive some of L.A. historic moments. 

In the afternoon, why not walk on up to Grand Ave. where the Broad Museum, DTLA’s newest contemporary art museum, sits across the street from Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall, both architectural wonders not to be missed.

You can even reserve free general admission tickets to the Broad Museum a month in advance. Tickets for January will become available on December 1 at 12:00PM PST.  Put it on your calendar because they run out quickly.

On the evening of Saturday, January 21, classical music fans might want to hear the world-famous L.A. Philharmonic perform Mussorgsky, Prokofiev and Stravinsky with violinist Gil Shaham, conducted by Lionel Bringuier.

If you’re an architectural enthusiast, the Hall also has a self-guided audio tour that will introduce you to some of the most fascinating engineering in modern architecture.

So, instead of rushing out to Santa Monica or Venice, which gets so much airtime when out-of-towners come to Los Angeles, I encourage you to explore something new. You’ll come away in awe of all the creativity the DTLA corridor has to offer. And, there’s always airbnb in case you want a different experience outside the hotel over the weekend.  There are multiple options to stay in the heart of DTLA.

For more ideas on exciting off-the-beaten-track things to explore over the weekend following the conference, stay tuned for my next article on discovering Boyle Heights and East L.A.’s Latino community, and it’s rich multicultural history, just a Metro ride from DTLA.

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Mobile Schmobile: Taking in-the-moment into in-context learning

Posted By Administration, Friday, August 19, 2016
Updated: Wednesday, August 17, 2016
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QRCA member Pam Goldfarb Liss works a lot with kids, teens, and their parents — and she sees that smartphones and tablets are a very important part of the way in which they communicate. According to Pam, you might say that smartphones are a third arm for many of them.

The research territory around the smartphone and tablets is called mobile research — and it allows us to experience our targets’ lives in 3-D. Mobile research is an effective way to get windows into our targets’ world as we complete research tasks. When qualitative researchers provide this perspective for clients, in-context learning leads to powerful product and service insights and ideation.

Yet, Pam says, when we get “in-the-moment” photos, videos or even recorded audio notes, researchers may not get an explanation of the context of that moment: Consumers are willing to share it all, but are not always so good about telling us the reasons for certain actions or behaviors after they’ve posted material for a mobile study.

That’s why choosing the right research tool for your client’s objectives is the most important consideration. Pam goes on to explain several platforms for mobile research, as well as providing rules of thumb for creating appropriate and fun mobile activities.

Read the full article here.

Tags:  communication  mobile  mobile platforms  mobile research  pam goldfarb liss  qrca views  smartphones  tablets  teenagers  views article 

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Design Thinking Tools for Qualitative Researchers

Posted By Administration, Wednesday, August 17, 2016
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Qualitative research consultants (QRCs) are experts at delivering customer experience-based insight. A sister discipline, Design Thinking (DT) grapples with the conundrum of how to inspire design, stirring the pot enough to generate fresh new approaches. QRCA members Marta Villanueva and Ellen Koronet write that when QRCs integrate DT processes into qualitative research, we reach whole new levels of insight. In their article in the Spring 2016 issue of QRCA VIEWS magazine, Marta and Ellen talked to Ela Ben-Ur, a DT expert and former IDEO team leader, to explain more.

They note that insight and empathy are critical elements of qualitative research and design thinking. The intention of both is to integrate visceral or empathic connections into the process of observing, exploring, coming up with new views, and then taking the next step into designing solutions. This requires tapping into three main modes of expression: Visual, Verbal and Physical.

Read the full article here.

Tags:  design thinking  expression  physical  qrca views  qualitative research  thinking tools  verbal  views article  visual 

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Why you should join our special interest groups

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 9, 2016
QRCA Special Interest Groups

QRCA members can join Special Interest Groups (SIGs) that focus on specific qualitative research disciplines. For example, The Social Media Research SIG (SMR SIG) helps QRCA members expand their skills in this new and rapidly changing field. Specific direction of the group will be determined by the members’ interests and skill sets. Potential subject areas include new social media listening platforms, listening case studies, expanding qualitative social media engagement practices, and more.

Learn about other QRCA member benefits here.

Tags:  leadership  qrca  qualitative interest  sigs  special interest groups 

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Exploring whether we need humans to do qualitative research

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Exploring whether we need humans to do qualitative research

In a thought-provoking article published in the QRCA VIEWS magazine, Cynthia W. Jacobs explores whether we still need humans to do qualitative research. There’s a growing focus on “listening” to social media, and – in part forced by the volume of data generated this way – we see automated methods replacing human-powered analysis. There are two questions to consider here. First, who are we hearing and not hearing when we “listen” to social media? Second, what are we missing or misinterpreting when we rely on automated analysis?

The high-volume, free insights generated by social media will go to waste if we don’t use caution in interpretation. Regardless of the tool, it is critical that we don’t rely on the overall summary. Read the article for more details on the role of human-powered analysis vs. automated social listening methods and why the role of the qualitative researcher has a great new importance.

Tags:  analysis  cynthia jacobs  data  human-powered  humans  qrca views  qualitative research  social media 

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