Clever people master life; the wise illuminate it and create fresh difficulties.

Emil Nolde

Rod Howson

Rod Howson has been serving client needs in the market research industry for almost 20 years. He specializes in research design and analysis including conjoint and other multivariate techniques. Rod holds a BS in Mathematics from the University of Louisville.



In his own words...


I am an Old School market researcher.  I started my career during the apex of telephone interviewing when CATI systems were just becoming available.  This new technology made data collection much easier for the interviewers.  Telephone interviewers did not have to worry about skip and fill patterns, they were able to concentrate on the respondent and the interview.  I was a stickler for open-ends, and my telephone interviewers were constantly trained on probing and clarifying.  Verbatims were king.


Fast forward 10 surveys start to become popular.  They were less expensive than telephone interviews and field time was significantly shorter.  Respondents could be shown images and other stimuli not possible with telephone surveys.  However, online surveys had one serious shortcoming, open-ended questions.  Without a live interviewer, probing and clarifying was not possible.  Researchers were at the mercy of the respondents to type concise answers into a textbox, and for the most part, the typed comments were vague, non-concise or incomplete.


In 2010, I began working on various technologies that could address the problem of open-ends and online surveys.  I developed illume.  This proprietary process allows us to incorporate live interviews via our qualitative specialists into online surveys.  Based on respondent answers to an online survey, the qualitative specialist conducts a detailed in-depth interview (IDI) with the respondent.  This IDI produces a tremendous amount of text and ideas that go far beyond the typical tables and charts derived from online surveys.  Research data is illuminated through this process as a more colorful, detailed picture of the research is painted.




Market research.  Clearly put.