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Is unmoderated research bringing qual and quant together?

John Goleby

Quant. It’s a fun word to say, it sounds like a piece of slang that only the cool people might know, or anyone that’s not your dad.

Unmoderated. Well, that sounds…bland. Not very motivating and kind of sounds like something that you would hear in a contract.

So it’s understandable that we often say quant, when we really mean unmoderated. And let’s face it, it’s five times the amount of syllables 😱

But, when it comes to research, it’s important to know the difference and use the right term when appropriate. We realised that we were making this mistake way too often at Askable.

You might be thinking, “Are they not the same?”. But no, not quite. You can have both *Qualitative*/Unmoderated Research and then *Quantitative*/Unmoderated research (trying saying that 5 times).

Stay with me here.

If, as part of an online survey, I asked you to select ‘Which of the below applies to you’ and you responded with “I am a Donutarian” (someone who only eats donuts 🤤 ). Then this is quant unmoderated research. If 25 out of 100 people select that, then I can safely say 25% of people identify as Donutarians. Boom! Quantitative data!

But let’s say I wanted to dive a bit deeper and in the online survey I asked;

“Describe your first donut eating experience”

Then my answer could be

  • “It was a flavour explosion like no other”
  • “It was at Dough Boyz and I had a jam filled one”
  • “It was so beautiful, I cried”.

The answers and insights could vary a lot and also provide you with a different insight.

Now, put it all together and that’s where things get interesting! With the ability to now do things like click tracking, screen recording, voice recording and even eye tracking (yeah that’s a thing), you can combine the depth of qualitative research with the scale of quant.

Side note – does anyone else think that we need some acronyms to better describe Qualitative and Quantitative Unmoderated research? Well, that’s for another post.

For now, how do you get the most out of qualitative unmoderated research? We’ll check back in next week for our follow up post where we share some great tools and methods you can use to get the job done!

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