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Using Predictive Analytics to Solve the Focus Group Dilemma

Posted on  17 August 12  by 


On September 19-21, a group of researchers from across the country will join us in Dallas for the 2012 Corporate Researchers Conference, which we are co-sponsoring with the MRA and Quirk’s.  We would love to see you there—read more about the sessions and register for your spot here.

In one of the sessions, Jan Gollins of Delta Modelling Group will join Ahmad Naim, M.D., of Janssen Scientific Affairs, Johnson & Johnson to talk about how they use predictive analytics to get more from focus groups:

Focus groups are a widely used research method to gain various patient/consumer insights in healthcare and provide qualitative in-depth learning of behaviors, attitudes and perceptions. However, qualitative information lacks the empirical robustness of traditional quantitative patient research outcomes. Researchers struggle to quantify, analyze and interpret focus groups research results in order to generalize qualitative opinions to larger populations. This session presents a new and powerful quantitative approach to focus group research using moment-to-moment affect traces. We also examine moment-to-moment response to focus group content and present an application of cluster analysis to identify different underling patient transcript segments and will show how multiple discriminant analysis is applied to understand divergence in participant response linked to specific elements within focus group dialogue.

  • Traditional research on moment-to-moment affect traces has been used to evaluate TV advertising cop testing, TV programming and political debates. Our hybrid research method integrates focus group subject generated qualitative patient perspectives with quantitative techniques to determine important patient issues and the language associated with the points of divergence among different patient segments. This approach to focus group content analysis presents a new methodology that integrates traditional qualitative and quantitative research in a single process that enriches our understanding on how patients integrate and process emotions around critical issues that affect their daily lives. We will present a case-study of our hybrid model among individuals with a specific disease which will show how traditional moment-to-moment research evaluates positive and negative emotions to a stimulus; presents detailed patient insights and predicts patient segments based upon past behavior and attitudes affecting their quality-of-life.
  • A case study, “Patient Reported Outcomes & Patient Preference Research”, will also be used to illustrate an evolving research methodology that uses qualitative focus group discussion dialogue as an input source to gain quantitative results via streaming technology to a large on-line sample of participants that “listens & rates” their level of agreement/disagreement using an electronic slider (dial) on a 0 – 10 likert scale. Multivariate statistical techniques are applied to segment the participants into clusters based upon their pattern of response throughout the entire focus group discussion. Points of divergence in the discussion are identified via multiple discriminant analysis and clusters are profiled based upon demographic, attitudinal and behavioral characteristics.
  • While analog dial technology has been in existence for sometime, this novel approach uses on-line streaming technology, large consumer samples and multivariate statistical analysis to gain consumer insights and perspectives that simply were not possible until now, thus transforming qualitative into quantitative research. This research process and methodology spans all forms of focus groups and is not limited to the medical field of research.

We hope that you will be able to join us at the 2012 Corporate Researchers Conference.  In the meantime, MREB members can check out more information on analytics, focus groups, and other methodologies in our Research Methodologies resource center.

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