On both sides: A debate for balanced research reports

By now, we’ve all heard the phrase “on both sides” innumerable times. It generally means giving equal time and space to “both sides” of an issue. Though we usually hear about in terms of gender, ethnicity, and identity, it has important bearing in the research world too.

Let’s say you’re running an IHUT to evaluate three new package styles. You want to understand which package is generally easier to open, whether people with arthritis find it challenging to use, and whether people end up storing it in their fridge or forget about it in the cupboard.

You launch the IHUTs, gather 200 survey completes, and complete 25 online IDIs from Victoria, Moncton, Brantford, Saguenay, Regina, and Whitehorse. You now have extensive data showing the strengths and weaknesses of each of the three package styles.

Canadian Viewpoint Fieldwork Data Collection Panel Quant QualAs you write up the report, you realize that the three slides for the 3 packages are unbalanced. Package A has a moderate number of both strengths and weaknesses, but Package B has few strengths and Package C has few weaknesses. Package C is obviously the most accessible, easy to use, and memorable package.

Do you hunt through the data to tease out teeny tiny strengths of B and teeny tiny weaknesses of C so that all the packages have an equal portions of strengths and weaknesses? No.

Do you remove some of C’s strengths to equalize the space and create more balance? No.

You apply the same threshold of success and failure to all three packages.

“Both sides” doesn’t mean a poorly designed package gets the same consideration as a well designed package. It means each package is subjected to equal standards for success.

And, it means is you have space to add images of happy product users next to Package C.

Ready to see how balanced your new packages are? Let us help you launch an IHUT of your own!


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Canadian Viewpoint Fieldwork Data Collection Panel Quant QualWith nearly 40 years of experience, Canadian Viewpoint is a field and data collection company that specializes in English and French offline and online services. We offer consumer and medical sample, programming and hosting, custom omnibus, mall intercepts, pre-recruits to central location, mystery shopping, site interviews, IHUTs, sensory, product, and package tests, discussion boards, CATI, facial coding, and other innovative technologies. Learn more about our services on our website. Canadian Viewpoint is a founding board member of CRIC (Canadian Research Insights Council) and named on both the 2019 GRIT Top 50 list of Emerging Players and the Women in Research shortlist for Best Places to Work.

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