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Software for Qualitative research?
Hi, I am a software developer and I am currently working on developing Artificial Intelligence software for Qualitative researchers. There are several aspects of qualitative research that can be automated/ made faster by software.
  • Automated transcription & translation
  • Auto Syncing video player with transcripts
  • Tagging the transcripts with insights & creating automated reports 
  • Making interviews & transcripts searchable
  • Using text analytics for generating automated insights
What are your thoughts regarding such softwares? If I invest time and money on building something like this, would the market be interested in using such a tool? Will there be enough market for such a tool?

Your responses will really help.
I did some experimentation with Amazon's voice recognition systems for automated transcription (Google and others also provide access to their v-r engines)

Currently everything is developer-focused so the user-interface from a researcher point of view isn't that great and I'm sure there would be demand in the long term. The challenge will be having good enough recognition quality for more typical research interviews which can be noisy, with multiple voices, and then allowing simple editing. It's definitely going to be a growing field.


Hi Saul,

Thanks for your response. Really nice article on the usability of voice recognition. Thanks a lot for sharing.

I agree with you that text-to-speech has now become mainstream and is quite accurate. We ran some tests and we find them quite accurate ourselves. What is even better is that translation services are also now very accurate. So, we can have audio in one language and have it prepared for analysis in any other language. For noisy environments, we use on audio pre-cleaning. Post generation users can do a cursory manual review. Our guess is it can be very productive to work with for analysis.

You are also quite correct that the interface for such tools are developer focused. So, we are in the process of developing easy interfaces for the user to upload content, get it automatically transcribed and translated, then mark the insights on the transcript and also allow automated analysis.

The questions we are struggling with are
1. would research teams (in market research firms and brands) spend money on a technology like this? Who among them, which type of companies are more likely to invest?
2. Is there significant number of firms involved in this activity that we have demand for something like this?

What are your thoughts on these? Thanks a lot for your help.

We are happy to show you what we are working on, if you are interested. FYI


Anirudh Chakravarthy
Hi Anirudh

The research world has a handful of very large firms and lots of small/medium agencies, but obviously many of their clients are the largest companies in the world, who themselves do research directly. To that you possibly can add management consultancies. If you expand into telephone customer services (where there is a need for record keeping) I would say it's a big potential business, but one where you have to get to know the players.

In addition there are some specialist VC and investor money about (not that I have direct contact). Surveymonkey has just hit an IPO, some of the panel providers are merging, and businesses like Typeform have popped up. There are also specialist survey and research tool providers who might have an interest, perhaps those providing IVR based surveys.

For us, we do bespoke custom designed research for specific business problems, so we don't do the churn-it-out high volumes that a product like this would work best for. Perhaps contact Esomar, or the UK's Market Research Society or the US Insight Association, or have a look at IIEx or Quirks who put on industry events about new research techniques.


Thanks a lot for the detailed response. I’ll discuss with my team and come back.


Anirudh Chakravarthy
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