How tracking our activity has turned us into data analysts

How tracking our activity has turned us into data analysts

Whether you’re like me and track your activity religiously or you just occasionally open Apple Health to marvel at how many steps you’ve walked today, a third of us are now collecting substantial amounts of data on a daily basis.

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Yes, I want to talk about it: when respondents take back control

By now, we all know that using video in your research projects gives better, more accurate results. But recently, we’ve run several projects that have illuminated how video enables the gains from research projects to run two ways, so both the participant and the end client gain from them. Of course, respondents are incentivised for partaking in projects, but in some cases, they are getting more than just a financial gain from the exchange, and the projects offer an element of emancipation and influence to the respondents.

Recently, we ran a study on feminine hygiene products that used both observational and mobile filming elements.  We're often asked if there are limits to what people will show us and honestly - there isn't really.  We've always believed in showing respect and empathy for participants and their lives; engaging people in the research process and handling data security sensitively and securely.  

We ended up with hours of video.  We had an excellent response to our recruitment for this project and found that the older women were even more eager to participate. By not asking specific questions, respondents were able to tell us what was important to them, in their own words.

What we were concerned might come across as an invasion of privacy was actually taken by the participants as a chance for them, as women, to have a say in these vital products that are manufactured by companies that are still/have up until very recently been male-dominated.

What’s more - feminine hygiene is typically a taboo subject. Of all the props used in the 50 Shades books, the only one that didn’t make it to screens was the humble tampon, for fear of it being ‘too risqué’ for audiences. This project enabled women to talk, unprompted and without a list of questions, about a topic that would not have been spoken about by the generation before them, and several commented on what a cathartic experience it was for them.

It is refreshing to see that in 2018, opinions are moving forwards and brands such as Bodyform and Libresse are working to remove the stigma around the female body. For us, it's great to reinforce our belief that we shouldn’t be afraid to use video in these projects and that it is important to work to ‘break’ these taboos. Using video allows us to get closer to respondents so that they can share their thoughts and feelings in a way which other forms of research don’t.