Here’s one of the biggest challenge that business leaders and consultants face today:“How can I collect the most meaningful data from the greatest number of people?” The conventional way to gather data or insights is to conduct either surveys or face-to-face interviews. Neither of these methods, however, sufficiently addresses the challenges that these business leaders face:the difficulty of extracting meaning from the data and the time it takes to thoroughly question a large number of people through stakeholder surveys.
There are also several standard survey use cases that are used to solve problems that can easily be debunked or discredited as being effective for solving problems. Likewise, there are several standard face-to-face interview use cases that can be debated. The time has come, therefore, for businesses and consultants to go beyond stakeholder surveys and manually conducted face-to-face interviews.
When considering the merits of moving past ordinary stakeholder surveys or traditional interviews, consider these three points:
Something between a survey and traditional interview
For a consultant or a manager, the results of a survey can be underwhelming – essentially, surveys provide a ton of raw data that must be sorted and analyzed before its meaning can be extracted. Most survey data does not immediately provide the level of depth that leaders require for making informed decisions. Moreover, the quality of survey data is often questionable.
On the other hand, the amount of data that consultants and managers can gather from face-to-face interviews can be overwhelming. Interviewees frequently fail at being direct in their answers, and they tend to share more information than the interviewers seek. In addition, in-person interviews are simply inefficient. Whereas surveys can collect data from thousands of people at once, interviews must be conducted one at a time. The key, therefore, is to find a solution to gathering stakeholder insights that allows for both quantity AND directness, depth of insights, and an abbreviated timeline.
Real solutions need real engagement
Survey respondents generally are not engaged to the point where they offer advice that helps inform the solution to a problem. This lack of engagement may be the main reason you find some sort of incentive or prize offered to people who answer surveys! While dangling the carrot may result in more responses, however, it does not guarantee meaningful insights. Solutions to boost response rates, such as gamification, sweepstakes, and discounts, have all fallen short because they are fundamentally flawed in the same way – that is, they fail to engage respondents enough to produce meaningful solutions.
While face-to-face interviews give you real engagement, they may not be as rapidly scalable as a survey. If you think about it, there are only so many face-to-face interviews you can conduct in a day!
Also, the two conventionals methods of gathering data, does not allow an executive to view real time insights. The ability to see data come in real-time enables executives to quickly identify what is relevant to their problem and immediately find those suggestions, advice, and descriptive data that respondents have submitted.
The Solution:An Interview Platform
So how can consultants and managers move beyond stakeholders surveys and traditional interviews to gather meaningful data in an efficient time frame? The answer is to use a platform that creates a more meaningful relationship with the respondent, enables the interviewer to have a digital interaction with the participants, and updates the data in real-time. A tool like this can be said to be very much like a survey from the respondents’ perspective, or not a pure interview from the interviewer’s perspective. But the main fact still remains, an interview platform supplements problem solving better than a survey platform. A platform that can offer the best of both face-to-face interviews and surveys is the next step for anyone looking to gather stakeholder insights.