Focus group discussions are a popular way of collecting information to understand how people think or feel about an idea, issue, product or service. This opinion gathering strategy is widely used in academic and business research. Quality focus group transcription helps you make sense of the information you collect.
Conducting a Good Focused Discussion
Conducting an open and focused discussion requires planning. Here are some tips:
- Invite a small group of people: The number of participants should be large enough to generate a useful discussion but not too big that some people are overshadowed. Six to ten people is considered ideal.
- Ensure that the participants will be comfortable expressing their opinion: A homogenous group of strangers will engage in a free-flowing discussion. Ensure that the participants represent your target group.
- Ask the right questions: Prepare your questionnaire well so that you get the information you are looking for. For instance, the type of questions that could be included in a business focus group questionnaire includes: open-ended, closed, probing, prompted and follow-up. Asking the right questions will allow you to learn about how a target audience thinks and feels about a product or service and what they like and dislike about it. Make sure the questions are short and to the point.
- Have a good moderator: The moderator should be well-informed about the subject in question, listen attentively with sensitivity and empathy, and have an unbiased approach. He/she should be capable of encouraging a lively, fruitful discussion with full participation.
- Record the discussion: Have the moderator’s assistant record the discussion using good quality recording equipment.
Several focus group discussions may be needed to elicit all the information you are seeking.
Quality Transcription for Proper Analysis of the Data
Get support from a reliable focus group transcription service provider to analyze the data. Transcribing the recording of the discussion is necessary to understand the participants’ views so that the data can be put to meaningful use. Evaluate a few general transcription companies and choose one that can provide quality transcripts of focus groups at cost-effective rates. Here are some key tips for analyzing the focus group discussion:
- Insert notes in appropriate places in transcribed material
- Clean up the transcripts by eliminating what is not needed. To accomplish this, ask your audio transcription service company to provide non-verbatim transcripts – edited versions of the audio file which include only what’s necessary.
- Give each participant comment/quote a separate line on the page and do the same for each new or idea therein.
- Tag each line with the participant and group number. For instance, a comment by participant 5 in group 3 could be labeled as number 3:5.
Once this data is entered in an EXCEL spreadsheet, it can be easily analyzed by indentifying common categories and themes and grouping the information under them.
It is quite evident that professional focus group transcription services are crucial to evaluate the participants’ comments and views. With the right support, you can organize your data into a proper report with findings, conclusions and recommendations.