Embarking on a research study in other countries can be daunting. Different languages, different time zones, and unique cultural sensitivities can create countless challenges across both the study execution and data interpretation.
Here are 3 considerations to address before launching any global research study:
Navigating different time zones can be tricky, but it’s more than just a scheduling complication. Working with teams in different countries means accommodating different working hours and needing to consider the impact that local holidays and customs may have on your overall project timeline. Not only does this impact the schedules of the research teams, but respondents in other countries may also have different availability than what you’re used to at home.
Translations are a critical aspect of any global research study, and not just for the survey itself. Translations are a topic that should be discussed in detail at the beginning of any project to ensure that all parties are aligned on what documents or stimuli will need to be translated, and if those translations will need to be reviewed or approved by anyone in the local market(s) (e.g., concepts, the survey, open end verbatims, qualitative interview transcripts, etc.).
Any documents that are translated should always be accompanied by the original language version. For instance, if a qualitative interview in China translates the original English discussion guide into Mandarin, it is best practice to distribute the guide in both the local language and the translated language to account for any possible nuances or independent interpretations of the local language.
Translations can also impact timelines. Plan to add a few extra days to your project schedule to accommodate translations into different languages and even more time if your team will need to review and approve those translations.
3. Trusted Partnerships
Securing trusted partnerships with local vendors can make all the difference for a successful global research study. Not only will they be a valuable resource to better understand the local customs and cultural differences of each unique market, but they can provide opportunities to find out-of-the-box solutions to challenges that inevitably pop up. Having a local partner can help with finding efficient and cost-effective providers for everything from operations to translation or transcription services, or even a local logistics courier to help get physical stimuli through customs and into local research facilities. It helps to have boots on the ground when you can’t be.
Cue Insights works with the best independent partners in over 30 countries. We maintain close consultative relationships with ownership of these companies, giving us the needed tools to plan, execute and interpret global research on a wide variety of topics.
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