technology considerations for global research

Monica Grebe, itracks Director of Client Services

1. People march to the beat of their own drum – Time is relative
  • “As soon as possible” does not have universal meaning
  • Respondents show up on time in some countries, but not in others
2. Go with who and what you know – Develop solid partnerships
  • Good local moderators and interpreters are hard to come by – when you find one stick with them
  • Never underestimate the value of a quality research partner
  • Working with the same moderators and interpreters increases your researchers and, many times, your clients comfort level and decreases their stress level
3. Do your pre-research
  • Brand names frequently vary by country – If working with Pharmaceuticals generic names are often the safest way to refer to a drug
  • You should expect your partners desk researchers to do this for all countries being fielded
4. Manage the “backroom” during your group
  • Client teams get larger with the addition of local affiliates
  • Different research priorities by country can sidetrack the research
  • Having a single line of communication with the local moderator and translator is critical
5. Be flexible and always expect the unexpected
  • The local moderator is your “best friend” when something unforeseen happens
6. Be aware of local holidays
  • Partners will alert you to holidays in various countries that you never knew existed
  • When using trusted local partners you know that your research will not be scheduled at a time when there is a local holiday even if that is when the client wants it to be
7. Single-source partners in each country
  • Centralization is most efficient
  • Single point of contact for translations, recruiting, moderating, deliverables, etc.
  • All Partners and their teams must have documented experience in the market you are researching
  • All partners must be responsive to email within reasonable US hours
8. Understand your partner’s costs
  • Know your international partner’s costs and currency in which they are to be billed
  • Currency movements can impact project budgets and add a level of uncertainty
  • Look at current spot exchange rates as well as historical and recent trends to assess risk

In my article, Best Practices for Conducting International Research, I discuss in-depth each of these tips and the considerations for logistics with international research projects.