Blog Post | March 2019

Bad News. Good News. The Story of dQ&A Qualitative Insights

In January, I attended a wonderful session at the annual QRCA Conference (see below) about the power of storytelling. Stories provide context, connection, and meaning. Typically, we focus on uncovering the stories of people with diabetes and figuring out what they mean. But here, I’d like to tell the story of how I joined dQ&A and why I am so committed to its mission.

Four years ago, my son Spencer was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. He was 14. In the process of researching pumps, I came across a one-page handout of the various pump brands and their customer satisfaction ratings across a variety of attributes. This data came from – you guessed it – dQ&A. I did a little research, and learned that the company conducts quantitative market research focused on diabetes. It looked like they could use an experienced qualitative researcher. So, I contacted the company (well, Richard), explaining that my son had diabetes and offering to launch a qualitative research practice.

Today, dQ&A’s qualitative research practice is booming. We exclusively interview in the realm of diabetes – either people with diabetes (PWDs), or health care practitioners (HCPs) about diabetes. We explore reactions to medications. We assess health plans and apps. We find out about how different segments – like teens, seniors, or parents of kids – live with diabetes. We test and refine diabetes devices in development. We interview key opinion leaders about new therapy clinical trial design. We assess the effectiveness of communications campaigns targeting people with diabetes. We investigate prescribing practices and preferences, digging into what causes patient and prescriber inertia.

In just three short years, our team has conducted thousands of research sessions with PWDs and the HCPs who serve them. Focus groups, in-person interviews, ethnographies, webcam or phone interviews, and online “bulletin board” communities are all part of the mix. We do this because we want to help make products and services better for people with diabetes – and we are deeply grateful to you, our clients, for trusting us to answer your business questions.

If you have any questions about dQ&A Qualitative Insights and how we can help you, please email me at


Qualitative Research Consultant Association Annual Conference Summary

As I mentioned, in January I attended the annual Qualitative Research Consultant Association (QRCA) conference in Savannah (conveniently missing the polar vortex in Michigan, where I live). Here is a sampling of the very cool presentations about best practices and innovation in qualitative research:

  1. “20 pounds of potatoes in a 10 pound bag” (i.e., squeeze 3 hours of discussion content into 2 hours of time)
  2. Report results via podcast for clients with PowerPoint fatigue
  3. Discover and deploy design thinking
  4. Harness the power of storytelling (see above!)

Contact me at to learn more about how we’re utilizing these approaches at dQ&A.

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