In-Depth Interviews with Expert ENGINE: Authentic Answers to Qualitative Questions

Looking to face the future with expert insight?

If your organization is striving to get smart on an industry category or answer pressing business questions, you may already be considering an expert network. Leveraging expert insight, after all, is a stellar method for qualitative needs: To collect and analyze opinions, concepts and experiences from thinkers and leaders. Perhaps you’re already setting aside a big budget to motivate contributors to help your organization unearth what you need to know. A common way to leverage this insight is by conducting in-depth interviews (IDI’s). An IDI is an exciting opportunity to harvest the bird’s-eye knowledge, wisdom and insight of a subject matter expert with a thoroughly developed career history. Organizations often expect it’s most beneficial to broker IDI’s at a large scale to collect multiple perspectives — but there’s a better way.

The downside to large-scale IDI’s

If you’re considering brokering IDI’s at a large scale, it’s important to be aware of the disadvantages. By corralling as many as 40 or 50 interviewees, there’s a high chance not all of these participants will fit your topic and research needs. It’s also a hefty time commitment to broker, moderate and synthesize 60-minute interviews at this scale, so you may look to save time in other areas, such as the expert screening process to ensure a fit for your needs. Additionally, though unpleasant to mention, the problems of fraud and credibility have grown even greater with large-scale projects and rushed recruiting. Finally, you’re also up against costs: Even if your respondents do appear to fit criteria, investing your budget into honoraria for a large-scale pool can haunt or even break a qualitative research effort.

There’s a better solution: A small but powerful set of expert in-depth interviews.

When you pursue an expert IDI with Expert ENGINE, you’ll confer with a thought leader who has been recruited, vetted and selected first hand by our team just for your needs. The issues can be future-facing and urgent. They can be broad and highly particular. Either way, we’ll ensure you get the answers you need. Typically, this conversation is held one-on-one, but we’ll handle anywhere from 1 to 20 interviews. With expert consent, Expert ENGINE also records each IDI and provides transcripts so you can focus on the conversation. (Looking for more of a problem-solving consultation? You’re still in the right place: Expert ENGINE brokers them often.)

So why arrange a manageable handful of interviews when you could throw your budget at 40 or 50 of them? Let’s start with scale and quality. A knowledge exchange with a seasoned industry professional — vetted specifically to speak to your topic — will yield more useful results than casting a sprawling net of potential respondents. The Expert ENGINE team vets enrolling members in our network for work and consulting experience, education, patents, publications, association membership, and awards and accolades, corroborated via reference check with multiple peers. Moreover, the Expert ENGINE team personally creates and manages your relationship with this expert. We take care of the candidate conversation, and we co-develop explicit criteria with your team to screen directly for your need. In this way, we ensure a fit for your research first hand — before any paid work begins.

Light fidelity: A success story

Recently, our ENGINE colleagues were helping a client explore innovation opportunities in the consumer portable lighting industry. By carefully vetting one expert in our network, we strengthened their research by setting up just a few hours of expert efficient interviewing — saving them the cost and time required to source dozens of participants. The Expert ENGINE thought leader offered insight, information and validation on exploring LiFi, an emerging wireless communication technology not yet broadly used by the public but hailed as the next major enhancement to 5G networks. Armed with expert knowledge, the ENGINE team helped our client understand the speed, security, health, and sustainability benefits of LiFi and maximize the avenues and possibilities before them. In the team’s own words:

It is rare to deliver an “aha” to clients who’ve been in their industry and with their brand for over 15 years. This expert did just that.

Why not reach out now?

When you need quality, directness and speed, a well-conceived expert IDI will help you meet your knowledge goals where a wider research pool has fallen short… and overextended your budget. Engage with a small number of experts through an intentional IDI series, and you might just gather the wisdom you’d been hoping to amass from far more respondents.

If you’re looking for subject matter experts to weigh in on a business issue, help your team face the future, or provide insight on a problem, we encourage you to learn more about Expert ENGINE — and feel free to reach out to our Director, Lindsey Lombardo, anytime.

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