How to choose between different qualitative research platforms

Sep 30, 2022, Sukanya Pant
If you have ever gone on a quest to finding an online qualitative research platform, you will understand the wide spectrum of platforms and the multitude of different features they offer. The dilemma of having too many options is clearly exemplified during this search. Online qualitative platforms offer a range of different services that have nothing in common except for the fact that they are in the online mode, and don't provide numerical data.  

Online qualitative research has a plethora of variables that can influence the type of research you want to conduct. It is imperative to know the specificities of the research before committing to an online research platform. Is the qualitative research synchronous (in real-time), or asynchronous; is it within a specific time, or ongoing? Does it require focus groups, in-depth interviews, discussion forums or bulletin boards? Qualitative research is a vast pit, and knowing the depths you want to explore is a necessity before locking down a specific qualitative research platform.  

What makes the choice of Online Qualitative platforms more engaging is the multitude of tools available. There are generic video conferencing platforms like Zoom costing 20 USD a month vs specialized platforms that charge thousands of dollars.  

Below are some of the important points to keep in consideration while choosing an online qualitative research provider:  


The technological world is already difficult to navigate, and if your online qualitative research provider is not user-friendly, your task can become way tougher. The user interface of your online qualitative research platform should be easily navigable and fairly straightforward, lacking complex procedures and sub-steps for a single feature.  


One of the pillars that online qualitative research rests on is video conferencing. For all aspects of qualitative research being conducted online, video conferencing is something that should be integrated into the platform, and the platform should provide certain features related to it. Client backrooms, tech checks, automated reminders are some of the features that provides. 


While considering online qualitative research platforms, one needs to check out the ancillary services that the platform provides, for example recruitment, finding interpreters, translators or moderators, and whether this translation or transcription is human or not. These features showcase the abilities of the online qualitative research platform that you are looking for.  


Budget is, of course, one of the most important considerations when searching for an online qualitative research provider. No matter the services, if the prices are sky high, then the whole project ceases to be fruitful and spells more harm than good. Online qualitative research platforms should be fairly priced to avoid the untimely exhaustion of resources. 

Analysis features offered 

Some of the video conferencing platform limit their offering to providing abilities to conduct FGDS and Depth Interviews, while other provide some video analysis features such as bookmarking, clipping and interactive transcripts along with automated transcription.  

If you plan to write a detailed report post conducting fieldwork, analysis feature suite can be super helpful. Finding an online qualitative research platform is an ardent job.

flowres is an online qualitative research platform that provides host of features such as Zoom integration, interactive transcripts, client backrooms, Content analysis and much more to make your qualitative research as seamless as possible. Reach out to [email protected] to connect with us for all your qualitative research requirements.  
Sukanya Pant
Sep 30, 2022