Meet Our Moderator: Sara Sutton

Sara is the daughter of a mathematician and a librarian. Unsurprisingly, her work spans and combines robust quantitative research skills with rich qualitative insights, often in multiphased research studies supporting high-visibility strategic initiatives.

Sara has a diverse background encompassing over 18 years of experience in research management and consulting in both the scientific and the marketing communities. She works closely with clients to design and execute research programs that help optimize strategic decisions. Sara’s expertise includes comprehensive research program design, statistical analysis, choice modeling, analytical reporting, and critical inquiry.

Sara’s qualitative style is conversational. She believes there are several keys to successful interviewing, including:

  • Tone – a smile in your voice (and on your face) puts participants at ease and helps maintain an open and friendly dialogue.
  • Clarity and brevity – asking a well-framed question with as few words as needed to properly express the intent is important given that participants must process the question in order to formulate a thoughtful response.
  • Expertise – knowledge of the category or issues at hand help a moderator know how to answer participant questions and determine what to probe on and what not to probe on. It can also help the participant feel at ease with getting “technical.”

Sara focuses primarily on research in the U.S., although she has managed moderators and projects spanning many countries and languages.

Sara leads the Medical, Health, and Wellness Research of Decision Analyst. As such, most of her work is conducted among providers (including doctors and ancillary medical professionals and executives), payers, patients/consumers, and caregivers. The ever-growing healthcare space encompasses not only pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and providers (like hospitals, health systems, and insurers), but also companies in the wellness arena, such as healthy foods and beverages, fitness and wearables, nutritional supplements, and OTC consumer health consumables and durables. Over the span of her career, she has developed deep expertise in vision care and devices, cardiology, diabetology, hematology, and animal health. Aviation is another area of special expertise.

Sara’s qualitative work is typically multifaceted. That is, a project is never just about one thing or one goal – there are often a number of objectives spanning several types of “work.” For instance, concept development includes awareness and perception work, along with attitudinal assessment. Sara’s philosophy is that good qualitative research will include many aspects of understanding the “why” behind the “what.”

Outside of work, Sara enjoys trying new recipes, playing racquetball or tennis, and reading about breakthrough technologies, science, and history while snuggling with one of her three cats. She also travels extensively, with a current focus on America’s national parks.

Qualitative Research Services

If you would like more information on Qualitative Research, please contact Sara Sutton by emailing or calling 1-817-640-6166.

Meet Our Moderators