Just what we need, another buzz word…
That said, we think it’s time to start a conversation about Big Qual. We’ve got a hunch that with the right people, the right tools, a good way of working and some creativity we can knock down the barriers currently in the way of using huge amounts of natural speech in research.
So, what’s Big Qual?
To us it seems that qual has become synonymous with small, personal and in-depth. We think it’s time to challenge the bit that says; small.
We see Big Qual as an important, and as yet, not much talked about aspect of Big Data. So maybe we should start by asking what Big Data is:
“…big data is a collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand database management tools” Wikipedia
We think this difficulty happens a lot sooner in traditional qualitative research projects. In fact the methodology has become, in part, defined by a limited scope imposed by the problems of managing large amounts of unstructured conversational data.
Continuing to accept these limitations starves us of a hugely valuable source of insight into how people behave and think. We’d like to expand the discussion of Big Data to include how these new tools and techniques can be used imaginatively to help us tame Big Qual. Our goal is to help people make cognitive leaps and develop real insights from truly mass observation of human behaviour.
Where do we start?
We know this is a big question, certainly one that’s bigger than us. It’s a challenge which needs to be discussed and worked on across a number of different disciplines.
Here are some of the challenges we’re thinking about to get the ball rolling:
The Big Qual Social Club
The Big Qual Social Club is something we’ve started to help get the discussion going. It’s a place to come and help shape a future of Big Qual research. It’s for anyone who thinks hearing lots and lots of consumers talk in their own words might be useful.
If this sounds good to you, head on over to the Big Qual Social Club group on LinkedIn and apply to join.