​Great qualitative research discovers the reasons behind the numbers. As people grow happier and happier to give qualitative data online (raise your hand if you’ve left site feedback!) developing online tools to collect this data makes more and more sense. Here are four qualitative research tools you need to know about.

1. For new markets – Trendwatching

Great for getting the background information needed to hone in on insightful quantitative data, Trendwatching can give agencies the big market insights needed to smash pitches, win clients and consistently beat expectations.

How do they do it? The main ingredient is their ‘glocal’ experts – local market analysts with their finger on the pulse all around the world. This kind of crowd-sourced expertise means you can get cutting-edge trend analysis info without paying expert salaries!

2. For flexibility – Flex Market Research

As qualitative market research moves away from smaller apps performing one or two functions, large, integrated platforms have arranged themselves into one-stop research portals.

Flex follows this model, but in a scalable format that will suit ambitious agencies who don’t want to pay for features they don’t need, but also want the freedom to expand without switching provider. You can get off-the-shelf bundles to help with specific projects like market repositioning or product development, or combine tools in your own custom-made (and custom priced!) bundle.

3. For visualisation – NVivo

When it comes to visualising the relationships between hard-to-grasp concepts (between brands and opinions, products and perceptions, etc.), there is no better tool that NVivo.

NVivo followed on from Xsight, one of the best early tools for visualising quantitative data in a readily-understood way. Word clouds, interactive diagrams, cluster analysis, hierarchy charts… NVivo displays all these media beautifully, helping cut through the numbers and make even dry, technical data engaging.

4. For research – Recollective

Qualitative is going online, away from phones and interviews. And how do people speak to each other online? Through social media. That’s why Recollective’s research platform is genius – it feels like a familiar social platform through which participants can simply post, comment and like as though they were on their own Facebook page.

The ability for peers to interact adds a whole new layer of information to dissect, and the familiar platform makes people feel at home and therefore more likely to act ‘as usual’, forgetting their comments are being recorded.

If you’re a whizz with online research tools, good news – you’re in high demand! We have lots of Research and Insight roles at great companies, so search now.