Monthly Archives: April 2010

Why the “transparency in offshoring” initiative?

Recently, several prominent research established the Foundation for Transparency in Offshoring ( as a reaction to problems with some offshore research activities.  I’m trying to understand this initiative so any assistance would be helpful. 

Four days ago, I posted the following on BaQMAR’s Linkedin discussion forum:

We don’t offshore so I don’t have a stake in it; however, I’m still
trying to understand this initiative. I would welcome any

I don’t question anyone’s concern over offshoring. But why certify
whether someone does or not? If I’m a client and I don’t want something
done offshore, can’t I just ask if they do it and/or demand that they
don’t do my work offshore? If that doesn’t work, can’t I generally take
my work to a company who does not offshore any work?

Not to be cynical, but I was in politics for a period of my life. Often
“transparency efforts” were, in actuality, veiled efforts to kill
something in a politically correct way. On its surface, this seems to
be the same type of effort.

As I said, I don’t have a personal stake in it, but I would appreciate
enlightenment on why a company should be certified as to whether they
offshore or not.

No answer has been posted, so I open it up here.  Through self-certification, FTO offers two seals:  one for companies that do not offshore and one for those who are responsible about it.  Its self-reported and there does not appear to be a policing mechanism. 

I don’t get it.  Help please.

How online qual adds VALUE

I’ve been intrigued recently by the number of researchers who are trying to understand the “value” of online qual versus face to face, social media “scraping,”  etc.  Here are some thoughts that come to mind.

There is more consumer data available than ever before.  Data is everywhere but marketers remain challenged with turning that data into usable information so they can truly understand their customers.  At the end of the day, when marketers peek out from under piles of consumer data, they are craving in-depth understanding of consumers and a way to communicate that to marketing and strategic
decision-makers.  Tools that provide depth of understanding will grow in value as breadth becomes easy but depth becomes increasingly difficult.

Online qualitative brings tools to assist in developing a deeper understanding of the customer if the methodologist understands how to use the unique capabilities of online qual. 

Online qualitative is not simply “conversations online.”  If it were, it would be of limited use.  Online qual adds capabilities that did not exist before or were very difficult or very expensive.  Two such capabilities stand out above the others. 

  • Longitudinal Qualitative — Understanding behavior over time
  • “In place” qualitative — research at the point of purchase/consumption/interaction

Once the methodologist fully understands the power of these two concepts, it changes how they look at qualitative. 

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