A Glimpse Behind the Scenes
I write semi-regularly about the human side of my life as an independent researcher — both the highs and the lows.
Anyone who has spent ten minutes with me in the past few months knows that I’ve been consumed by my latest client: a Native American tribe in North Carolina. Like roughly 250 other federally recognized tribes in the US, they have a casino on their land, and the revenues from the casino serve both as income for the tribe and
Here’s a riddle for you on this August morning. What do these two people have in common? Jill is the CEO of a small but growing company that makes buckets. She’s a smart business person, so she’s always trying to make informed decisions rather than just going with her gut. Jill needs to know how consumers use her buckets, what
A former client and friend called me this spring and invited me to collaborate on a super fun and dynamic project: experiential “hike-alongs” with Millennials. I’ve done “shop-alongs,” where we go to a store with a respondent and talk to them about their experience, decision making, and what they’re seeing and doing in the moment– but hike-alongs were something new.
I like to think of myself as a giver: I’m giving my clients information they didn’t have before, information they can use to make smarter decisions. Here are a few ways I’ve used research to help clients make well-informed decisions lately: A law firm working on a class action suit against a bank wanted to know how many hours of unpaid overtime
I’m teaching Questionnaire Design again this summer at the University of Michigan’s Summer Institute in Survey Research Techniques. I have a really diverse group of students: three of them work at the Census Bureau, one is the Chief of Obstetrics at a major hospital, one is a Public Health PhD student doing research with transgender youth…I could go on. I LOVE teaching
A client of mine is a social service agency. One of their smallest programs (serving about 40 clients at any given time) offers case management for individuals involved with the criminal justice system. The typical program participant has recently been released from a long prison sentence, is drug-addicted, and suffers from a chronic health condition (most often HIV, but also
Winter is almost over! Q1 is usually slow for me, but not this year! Here are a few of the things I’ve been working on: A consumer survey about New Year’s Resolutions. Online qualitative research about eating at work. A membership survey of a small professional association. More online qualitative research with leaders of business development centers. Another survey among members
What I do: I tell stories with data. I collect information using surveys, interviews, and focus groups, and then I help companies and organizations make smart decisions based on what people are saying, doing, and thinking. Most of the time (unless I’m teaching or doing in-person groups), I can work anywhere in the world– all I need is good wifi. My only