Large-Scale Qualitative (Big Qual)

  • Large Scale Qualitative Research
    What Is Large-Scale Qualitative Research?
    Large-Scale Qualitative (or “Big Qual”) is an online, interactive session of 50 to 300 participants working together to answer questions, react to stimuli, and explain their reasons and motives. Large-Scale Qualitative sessions utilize survey-type questions (or polls), open-ended questions, and projective exercises to help collect consumers’ responses. Graphs, tables, summaries of open-ended responses, and verbatim results are instantly available to the moderator and observers. Pictures can be shown, sorted, and grouped. Participants can draw, design, and explain. Heat maps can be generated. Verbatim answers to open-ended questions are coded in real time, so the respondents’ reasons and motives are known immediately.

    The whole process is interactive and in real time; questions and exercises can be changed, added, or deleted as the session unfolds. Clients can observe and interact with the moderator. A typical session lasts 60 to 90 minutes, and a summary report is available the following day.

The whole process is interactive and in real-time; questions and exercises can be changed, added, or deleted as the session unfolds. Clients can observe and interact with the moderator. A typical session lasts 60 to 90 minutes, and a summary report is available the following day.

Cutting-Edge Technology

Decision Analyst supports several Large-Scale Qualitative platforms. These are advanced, state-of-the-art systems. Some platforms employ artificial intelligence and machine learning. Some are better for working with video, while others are better for projective imagery and pictures. Some have the respondents participate in a session simultaneously, whereas others allow the respondents to participate over the course of 3 to 4 days. We choose the platform that best fits the needs and goals of your project.

Best Applications

Large-Scale Qualitative is ideal for exploring and optimizing…

  • Marketing Strategies.
  • Positioning Possibilities.
  • Advertising Concepts, Themes, and Taglines.
  • New Product Concepts.
  • Packaging and Package Designs.
  • Promotional Concepts.
  • Brochures and other Printed Communications.
  • Shopping Experiences (Path to Purchase).
  • Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty Programs.
  • Pricing Strategies.
Advantages of Large-Scale Qualitative
  • International Reach. Large-Scale Qualitative projects can be deployed simultaneously in multiple languages across multiple countries or regions.
  • Speed. Large-Scale Qualitative projects can be designed and launched within two or three days, unless incidence is exceptionally low. Results are available online in real-time. A summary report is available the day after the session.
  • Accuracy. Sample sizes are larger than samples for traditional qualitative studies, so the results are more statistically reliable. The samples for Large-Scale Qualitative projects are representative of all geographic areas, not just major markets that have focus group facilities.
  • Interactivity. If the project assumptions prove to be untrue, the moderator can change the direction and content of the session, add new questions, and delete other questions. This interactivity is an advantage in solving complex problems.
  • Reason-Why Understanding. Not only will you know which concept, package, or tagline won, you also will understand the reasons and motives for consumers’ preferences. Open-ended responses are coded and analyzed in real-time using artificial intelligence and machine learning. Knowing the “why” is often the most important insight that comes out of Large-Scale Qualitative. Group social pressure is minimal in online qualitative research.
How Is a Project Conducted?

Decision Analyst recruits, schedules, and reminds the participants to log on at the appointed time for the Large-Scale Qualitative session. The session is led by a Decision Analyst moderator who is supported by one or more project administrators. A session outline is developed in collaboration with the Client, but the outline can be changed, if needed, as the session evolves. Clients can view the results and communicate with the moderator in real-time.

Worldwide Online Panels

Decision Analyst owns and operates a suite of worldwide online panels with more than seven million members; these double opt-in panels are rigorously maintained and balanced to provide accurate and reliable responses. The panelists include consumers, business executives, computer science and technology professionals, contractors, doctors, and other medical professionals. These panels make it possible to quickly execute high-quality Large-Scale Qualitative projects.


When understanding deeper emotions is a major objective, members of Decision Analyst’s Articulators™ panel can be included in the sample. Some consumers are more self-aware than others and are better able to express their feelings and explain their behaviors. These self-aware, articulate individuals make up Decision Analyst’s Articulators™ qualitative panel. Qualitative projects using Articulators™ panelists provide a richer and deeper understanding of human behavior and emotions. Members of the Articulators™ panel are identified through formal screening and testing and by their performance during qualitative projects.

Experienced Qualitative Consultants

Decision Analyst is a leading global marketing research and analytical consulting firm with 40 years of experience in qualitative research and qualitative analytics. The firm is a leader in Large-Scale Qualitative research methods and techniques. Our experienced moderators can recommend the qualitative techniques best suited to your research needs.

For more information on our Qualitative Research services, please email Clay Dethloff, Senior Vice President, at, or call him at 1-800-ANALYSIS (262-5974) or 1-817-640-6166.