Webinar Recap: How Microsoft Entered a New Era of Insights

Discover how Microsoft and Recollective redefined qualitative research with AI-powered insights and agile communities. Watch our webinar recap now!

Recollective recently hosted an enlightening session with Romani Patel, Senior Manager of Research + Insights at Microsoft, and Laura Pulito, Vice President of Research at Recollective. They shared how Microsoft achieved rapid, in-depth qualitative research at scale using AI and agile research communities. If you missed the live event, don't worry—the recording is available on-demand.

The Need for Change: Why Microsoft Sought a New Research Methodology

Microsoft found traditional research methods lacking due to their lengthy processes and limited depth. Surveys and quantitative methods didn't provide the deep insights needed, while focus groups and in-depth interviews (IDIs) were time-consuming and resource-intensive. Handling multiple projects internally without external support also posed significant challenges.

Recognizing these issues, Microsoft turned to Recollective’s qualitative research platform. Although they had previous experience working with Recollective through partnerships, this was their first in-house project, marking a deeper collaboration to enhance their research capabilities.

Microsoft’s Research Goals: Depth, Customization, and Speed

Microsoft had three primary objectives for the project:

  • Depth at Scale: Engage a large customer base using communities to gather detailed feedback for strategic decision-making.
  • Elevated & Customized Experience: Create research communities that reflect Microsoft’s brand, providing a high-quality, enjoyable and personalized experience for participants.
  • Speed & Data Access: Obtain quick answers to business questions, rapidly execute projects and utilize AI tools to analyze responses efficiently.

Scaling Up Research with Recollective Connect

To meet these goals, Microsoft and Recollective launched two projects using the Recollective Connect platform, focusing on the Copilot AI and Xbox communities. Each project required a substantial participant base to generate meaningful insights.

They created two unique communities within one Recollective Connect site for streamlined management. Participants, recruited from Microsoft’s customer database, were screened using Recollective’s tools to ensure a good fit. This approach made the research more engaging and allowed Microsoft to connect more effectively with its customers. Real-time data access enabled immediate insights, enhancing the overall experience.

Recollective’s intuitive platform was easy to use, even for those without a research background, empowering various teams within Microsoft to conduct research independently.

Measuring Success: The Impact of Microsoft’s Research Initiatives

Using Recollective and the Connect platform, Microsoft conducted its Copilot AI and Xbox studies simultaneously, gathering deep insights from 60 and 75 participants, respectively. Revisiting their initial goals:

  • Depth at Scale: Engaging a larger participant base allowed Microsoft to achieve insights equivalent to conducting 50+ IDIs in a fraction of the time.
  • Elevated & Customized Experience: Tailored activities and questions reflected Microsoft’s brand, providing a high-quality, engaging experience for participants.
  • Speed & Data Access: Real-time data access and AI tools, such as AI Questions, AI Themes, and AI Summaries, streamlined the research process, enhancing decision-making speed.

Romani Patel highlighted the efficiency and effectiveness of this approach, stating, "Qualitative research at scale typically takes, end-to-end, about four to six weeks. And what I loved about Recollective was that we were able to do this within a week. My team had access to the data in real-time. So as the responses were coming in, we were able to very quickly glimpse and get a pulse of what the insights are looking like. It was so easy as well to get quick answers and compare and contrast the insights using Recollective's AI tools."

Leveraging Recollective's AI for Deeper Insights

  • AI Questions: Enabled researchers to ask questions about study data and receive immediate, credible answers.
  • AI Themes: Identified key topics, sentiments, and emotions from the collected data, helping to create compelling narratives.
  • AI Summaries: Condensed data efficiently, making it easier to identify important ideas and sources, and provided automatic transcriptions and summaries of video and audio submissions.

Building on Success for Future Research

For Microsoft, the two initial communities are just the beginning. The team plans to expand the participant base to include more diverse communities and cover broader topics. Recollective Connect’s centralized, AI-powered platform is revolutionizing how Microsoft conducts research, enabling long-term engagement and rapid, in-depth studies for quick business insights.

Don't miss out! Watch the on-demand webinar below for more insights on how Microsoft transformed its market research using Recollective’s AI tools and agile research communities. Stay tuned for updates on this exciting partnership and future innovations in market research.

Webinar Replay


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