ImperativeFeatured Case Study
Data Repository Software
Analyzing Qualitative Data
Imperative’s a B2B technology platform that provides leadership training which includes an individualized purpose profile for each employee.
Table of Contents
- Early Steps
- Share Insights
The CEO needed research findings to augment his new book.
Scheduled, conducted and organized 75 user interviews.
Transcribed the recordings into text documents. Identified thematic connections in the stories that participants shared.
Structured information from transcriptions into a more readable format.
1.1 Early Steps
Imperative is a business to business service that provides a purpose assessment for the employees at a company which is similar to individual personality tests. I worked there as a qualitative researcher on propriety content and I’m omitting specifics including many of the specific findings, product recommendations and other deliverables in compliance with the NDA. But I can share the process.
1.2 Early Steps
Our research team was instructed to conduct user interviews; in order to gather and supply useful content for the third edition of Aaron’s new book on the Purpose Economy. More specifically he requested: wordage, quotes, and stories. I created a Gantt Chart consisting of a timeline and tasks to complete.
Summarizing Existing Research
Previous research efforts had been outsourced to a third party. However, the previous research was oriented towards a different kind of user audience and hence had no value for our purposes.
Users were surveyed via google forms. But this kind of research was ineffective because it doesn’t help capture the essence of a user’s stories.
Preparing UX Research Activities
I prepared the necessary equipment and tools for remote interviewing: calendy scheduling software, a quality headset mic, uber conference for making and recording calls, temi transcription software. I also helped structure and manage the internal research database.
I scoured existing literature on purpose and related philosophy. Additionally, I found a book which helped guide my process. It was called “Interviewing as Qualitative Research; a guide for researchers in education and the social sciences” by Irving Seidman. I scoured it. Many of the pages had extensive markings by the time I was finished. Here are some of my markings on a page.
Selecting & Scheduling Participants
Using quantitative analysis to select ideal interview candidates, systematically invited those from the Imperative user database who scored highly for one or more assessment criteria. Then I contacted them via email invites that included links to sign up through calendy.
I asked participants to answer a standardized list of questions designed to unearth wordage, stories, and quotes that I could later pull from.
I used research transcription software for the initial heavy lifting, and then reviewed the audio on 1.5x speed to make corrections for accuracy so that exact quotes could later be extrapolated.
Analyzing Qualitative Data
It was information overload. Each of the 75 transcripts consisted of at least a dozen pages. That’s over one thousand pages of transcripts to analyze. What’s more, it was difficult to resist getting swept away in the fascinating segments of these interviews; many of which included highly intellectually stimulating philosophical tangents.
Naturally I was struggling to convert this knowledge from an interesting conglomorate of transcriptions into a useful body of information. My qualitative research book shed some light on the matter: “Marshall also talks about the dark side of this process: that time when, to sort out what is important, you wonder if you are making it all up, and you feel considerable doubt about what you were doing. You become worried that you were falling into the trap of self-delusion, which Miles and Huberman caution is the bane of those to analyze qualitative data. Marshall calls it an anxiety that you learn to live with.”
Data Analysis Software
It was tempting to use a Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software. But there are two simple reasons we didn’t use this tool: to stay under budget, and finish on time.
I began to refrain from excessively marking up the text, and instead refocused on procuring a limited set of specific stories that pertained to each purpose profile type.
4 Share Insights
I sorted the important interview excerpts into a single google doc marked with bookmarks for easy navigation.
- 75 interviews completed and transcribed; and made accessible to all members of the company
- Dozens of pages of interview highlights
- Template and suggestions for future researchers to follow including: internal repository folder structure, standardized interview questions, equipment, tools, and more.
Research findings helped the CEO create an outline for his new book.
Further structure the information gathered and refine storytelling. Also use research for more deliverables such as: personas, context scenarios, user flows, etc.