NEWS2 April 2020

Third of US qual agencies shift to online

Covid-19 News North America

US – Almost a third of agencies focusing on qualitative research moved the majority of their face-to-face work online in response to Covid-19 social distancing restrictions, according to research from the Insights Association.

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The first wave of a survey of the organisation’s members, conducted on 18th-19th March, found that 31% of qual-focused agencies had shifted 80% of their in-person research to online methods by mid-March.

The Insights Association's members include corporations, full-service agencies and data collection agencies working in qualitative, quantitative, software, and/or analytics. Over three-quarters ( 78%) of members reported being ‘somewhat or very concerned’ about the short- and long-term impacts of the virus.

Around a third of data collection agencies reported that more than 20% of their work has been cancelled and 40% report more than 20% of their work being postponed.

Over half ( 54%) of qual-focused agencies surveyed for the research reported that more than 20% of their work had been postponed.

However, of the corporate members surveyed, only 7% reported more than 20% of work being cancelled, with two-thirds reporting no decline in work or a growth in the number of studies planned for the year.  Corporate members are also shifting in-person research to virtual approaches, the research suggests, with 67% reporting that more than 80% of face-to-face work has been moved online.