Qualitative Research

Qualitative research is all about gathering rich, detailed understanding and insight, that is often difficult to do through surveys and questionnaires. It allows us to research more complex issues and understand why people think and behave in the way they do.


It can provide as highly valid data as quantitative research, but gets below the surface of the more ‘off the cuff’ or ‘top of mind’ responses that are often gathered via surveys.  Consultants at M·E·L Research are as equally skilled at undertaking qualitative research as they are at undertaking quantitative research and can offer a range of qualitative research methods, including:


In-depth and semi-structured interviews
For true insight into what's really going on inside people's head, there is no better method than using in-depth interviews to explore issues and attitudes on a one to one basis. These can be in person, online, or over the telephone - this can be particularly valuable where time and costs might be an issue.


Focus groups and 'chattabouts'
While we design, recruit and moderate more traditional focus groups, we are passionate about developing the most engaging and inclusive forms of qualitative work and have  developed our own brand of particularly inclusive and accessible format, called 'chattabouts'. Chattabout sessions are a more informal and interactive version of a focus group, often using projective and enabling techniques. They are engaging, participatory and fun for those taking part and are usually held in everyday community settings where people are already present, such as mother’s and toddlers groups, faith and church groups, youth clubs, older people’s coffee mornings, etc.


Deliberative sessions
Deliberative sessions (such as workshops, panels and juries) allow a more in-depth group discussion on a particular topic or local issue. They are often longer sessions and mean that more insightful tools can be used, such as trade-off exercises - useful for example for budget prioritisation work; jury style sessions with contributions from 'expert witnesses'; and the use of technology - such as videos, presentations or real-time voting systems.


For more information about our services, contact David Chong Ping on 0121 604 4664 or email david.chong-ping@melresearch.co.uk.