Top Tools for Qualitative Research

Top Tools: Qualitative Research

By Insight Platforms

  • article
  • Qualitative Research
  • Qual-Quant Hybrid
  • Remote Qualitative Research
  • Online Qualitative
  • Agile Qualitative Research
  • Ethnography
  • Mobile Ethnography
  • Online Focus Groups and Forums
  • Group Discussions/Focus Groups
  • Depth Interviews
  • Face-to-Face interviewing
  • CAPI (Face-to-Face Interviews)

Qualitative Research Tool Features

Qualitative research is a broad discipline rooted in subjective human experiences. The choice of methods, tools and analysis frameworks is vast. And the risks from bad qualitative research are significant: bias, misinterpretation, and misdirection.

But despite all this, technology is helping to derive continued growth in the use of qualitative research – beyond highly trained experts and academics to generalist researchers, markets, designers, product managers and event business leaders.

This is ‘democratisation’ of qualitative research is enabled by tools that are both easier to use and supported by ‘guardrails’ such as project templates, online education and support or coaching from experts. More recently, advancements in AI have made online qualitative research even more accessible for non-experts with AI-assisted design, moderation and analysis capabilities.

The products listed here are a curated selection of the top tools for qualitative research projects that can be used by experts and non-experts alike. They are suitable for that projects with methodologies such as:

  • live, video-based interviews and focus groups
  • asynchronous video feedback
  • discussion forums, bulletin boards or live chat
  • online communities
  • mobile ethnography
  • diary studies
  • screen recording for user journeys usability feedback.

Many of these tools have additional capabilities beyond this list.

There are also many more solutions for qualitative research that are not listed here. This includes solutions for participant recruitment; standalone Qualitative Data Analysis tools; Research Repositories; AI Moderation tools; and project management tools such as incentive payment platforms.

You can find solutions in all these categories – and hundreds more – by searching the Insight Platforms Directory.

Want an intro to the basics of qualitative research? Get up to speed with this Insight Platforms Academy course:

The Top Tools for Qualitative Research

This list is randomly ordered. No hierarchy is implied.


Discuss is a video conferencing platform that offers qualitative solutions for agencies, in-house teams, and pharmaceutical companies. The platform supports researchers and businesses to collect, analyze, and engage with customers’ feedback in real-time and utilizes additional nontraditional tools like generative AI and live customer feedback to support qualitative researchers in understanding people’s experiences through insights.


Forsta is an all-in-one research technology platform for research, customer experience, and employee experience.

For qualitative research, users can use Forsta’s Digital Diaries product which includes features like online video interviews, digital ethnography across smartphone, tablet, and computer devices, live streamed focus groups, and other interactive events – all prioritizing agile processes and real-time results.


Voxpopme is a qualitative insights platform based on AI to help research teams conduct video surveys with customers, live interviews for real-time insights, IDIs, and focus groups, and streamline qualitative analysis with the use of ChatGPT and other generative AI tools.

The platform also enables users to build research surveys with Smart SurvAI and to instantly share projects and reports with teams and executives through the support of auto-generated reports and landing pages.


Indeemo serves as a platform for executing remote qualitative research methodologies, encompassing Diary Studies, Mobile/Digital Ethnography, Journey Mapping/CX, Qual Pre-Tasking, Screen Recording/Usability, Product Testing/IHUTs, Path to Purchase, and Healthcare Research.

Driven by generative AI, Indeemo aims to facilitate in-the-moment video research and provide insights into people’s behaviors and experiences. The service includes mobile respondent apps supporting in-the-moment research in over 25 languages, integrations with Microsoft Teams and Zoom for studying Focus Groups and Interviews, generative AI analysis tools, and more to enhance research experiences.

Indeemo Logo - Insight Platforms


Indeemo is the market leader in mobile ethnography, a form of online qualitative research that helps researchers elicit rich insights from respondents.


Qualzy is another web-based qualitative research platform that uses AI technology and features tools for brand mapping, diary studies, focus groups, ideation, internal projects, product testing, and video analysis.

The platform is accessible to desktops and laptops, tablets, and smartphones, and offers services for short-term projects, long-term communities, international studies, and video studies.

The tool incorporates AI to help streamline 4 different workflows and processes: Qualitative Approach Ideation, AI-assisted Moderator Probes, Summarization Tools, and Quote Suggestion Tools.


Recollective is an online qualitative research software platform that specializes in providing support for flexible, asynchronous, and live research practices and teams, data reporting and analysis powered by AI, and creating personalized customer experiences.

The online research tool features tools and applications for concept testing, consumer feedback, behavioral studies, and ethnographic projects and allows users to work on multiple projects within the same platform.


incling is a qualitative research platform and online community. The platform allows users to access global research communities in order to discover insights from new audiences through qualitative research solutions specialized in global and local recruitment, design optimisations, general management, online moderation, translation services, and analysis and reporting.

Researchers can decide between taking their own individual DIY approach to qualitative research or working directly with Incling experts for additional support.

Sago QualBoard

QualBoard uses built-in automation and AI to allow users to gather insights from different qualitative methodologies. The platform includes qualitative services for digital research, in-person qual methods, telephone interviews, and research labs and offers solutions like global qualitative studies and jury research & recruitment.

Users can use QualBoard for tasks like bulletin board discussions, customer diaries, live video chat discussions, polls, and crowd surveys.


Sago is a data collection and research tech company that provides qualitative and quantitative research solutions and services.

Field Notes

The Field Notes research platform is used to document research content for further analysis. Customers, employees, and other research participants can upload video footage from their iOS or Android devices directly into the platform, where research teams can manage collected data in a shared process.

The platform offers users an AI-powered automatic summarisation tool and an app for user participants to manage video diary tasks, video and audio prompts, and screen recording tasks.


Suzy is a customer insights platform that uses a research cloud and AI tools to compile users’ quantitative and qualitative data and support iterative research processes.

Using the Suzy platform/cloud, researchers can use tools for survey design, templates, data analysis & reporting, and custom trackers, as well as host live research methods like IDIs, focus groups, and in-home testing, and access a network of consumer audiences.


Suzy is an audience management platform that combines research tools with an on-demand network of screened and verified consumers.


Knit is an insights platform that combines AI with quantitative and qualitative research to create a holistic overview of a brand’s target audience. The platform’s qualitative research tools aim to help users sort and collect customer feedback through Knit’s Video Insights Platform & AI Analysis Solutions.

Other qualitative solutions the platform offers users include foundational & behavioral research, innovation & product development, concept & creative testing, customer profiling & segmentation, partnerships & sales enablement research, along with classic customizable research.


Knit is an end-to-end Insights Platform combining Quant, Video & AI for brands get quicker & holistic understanding of their target audience.


EthOs is a qualitative research platform that allows users to capture insights and data from omnichannel touchpoints to provide insights on consumer behavior. The platform helps researchers and businesses track customer experiences in-store, online, at home, and in other locations and utilizes a consumer application that mimics real, human communication to gain feedback and information.

The app allows participants to share pictures, videos, and text and encourages research participants to share their experiences in real time.


EthOS is a mobile research platform for CX, UX and Market Research teams to conduct ethnographies, diary studies and chat-based interviews.

MarketResponse CMNTY

The MarketRepsonse Community provides users with an online qualitative research technology software that combines AI with research, marketing data, human insights, brand positioning, and creative communication.

MarketResponse works with research departments, agencies, and independent researchers, where users can choose from conducting asynchronous studies like discussion boards and diary studies, or live video solutions for online focus groups and IDIs.


FlexMR is an insights platform equipped with qualitative research tools and its original TaskMR data collection tool to help users build out research processes and tasks to capture interactive and holistic insights.

Users are able to use TaskMR to design diary studies and report cards and automate repetitive tasks that contribute to specific research objectives. The platform allows researchers to build a database of participants and consumers,  upload media items like images, screenshots, and video content and, conduct in-depth conversations, video surveys, and create visual scrapbooks to capture consumer experiences.


Bulbshare is a community insight platform and AI-powered tool that helps qualitative researchers connect with consumers and understand trends, centered around their brand, happening around the world.

Using Bulbshare, researchers can use AI to generate multimedia surveys instantly,  analyze data from consumer trends and sentiment from media uploads, create community briefs, and access more customer interaction capabilities. The goal of Bulbshare is to help researchers interact with customers in real time and within segmented communities – all from their desktop or mobile devices.


Nexxt Intelligence presents Inca, an innovative ‘inquisitive natural conversation agent’ for market research. Operating as a Conversational AI Insight Platform, its primary focus is on improving participant engagement and offering marketers and researchers convenient access to in-depth insights.

The tool utilizes AI capabilities to blend qualitative aspects into quantitative surveys to generate original insights. Inca aims to update the conventional online survey experience to be more comprehensive and engaging for users.


inca is a qualitative-first insight platform to understand consumers in-depth and at-scale through conversation and custom NLP.


WhyCatcher is a qualitative research tool that uses AI to aid in data collection, analysis, and identifying actionable insights. Users can automatically generate summaries, themes, word clouds, or sentiment analyses, and use a feature that allows for interactive conversations with the dataset to better understand emotional context and quotes. 

The tool offers users AI capabilities, a mobile-centric experience through WhatsApp, online research methods with discussion forums, whiteboarding, media pinning, surveys, and polls, and it caters to offline needs with traditional qualitative methods.


QualSights functions as a Mobile Qualitative Platform, offering a versatile environment for conducting qualitative studies.

Leveraging QualSights’ mobile-based platform, researchers can structure and implement diverse qualitative methodologies. The platform allows users to choose between synchronous or asynchronous interactions, incorporating various media formats such as video, photo, audio, or text.

This adaptability extends across different contexts, be it at home, in-store, or online, all within the same study.


Sonar is a generative AI-based research platform that helps businesses collect and manage consumer feedback on specific products and services.

The platform’s AI capabilities help users form research questions and methodologies, transcribe videos and conduct an emotional analysis of video content, organize data and identify trends or patterns in insights, and highlight notable quotes and sentiments.

Sonar presents your ongoing or developing marketing content and strategy to relevant audiences to gather feedback and find actionable insights.


Sonar is a video-based user research platform that allows businesses to gather customer feedback and insights through video interviews.


Aha! is a versatile online hub and platform for qualitative (and quantitative research). Their mobile and video-friendly technology includes asynchronous and live tools to enable companies to design and launch tailored consumer and B2B research studies.

The platform focuses on capturing in-the-moment emotions to derive innovative insights. Aha! also provides online recruiting services specifically designed for online market research studies.

Aha logo - Insight Platforms


Aha! provides a qualitative research platform and optional research & consulting services to help with study design, recruiting & analysis.


UserTesting is a smart video platform that works with teams in UX design, digital product, marketing, UX research to recruit research participants and audiences, conduct customer experience testing, analyze collected data and create data visualizations, and more with the support of machine learning technology.

The tool helps develop products and services with insights, and it incorporates additional capabilities such as AI, digital analytics tools, mobile testing, and templates.


Dscout is a mobile application and qualitative research tool that allows users to recruit research audiences, conduct live interviews with automated transcriptions and diary note-taking, manage and streamline processes on centralized dashboards, convert data into insights, and share results with video and visual tools.

The tool focuses on bringing researchers data and insights from their network of online participants.


itracks serves as a comprehensive digital platform tailored for a range of qualitative methods that accommodate interviews, video focus groups, and text groups.

The platform provides hosting solutions for discussion boards, communities, and video-based focus groups or interviews with notable audio and video quality, stimuli sharing, and a virtual backroom. itracks aims to elevate client and stakeholder engagement in a digital environment.

These qualitative research tools offer a range of features such as AI and machine learning for data extraction and analysis, video conferencing, customer feedback collection, automated transcriptions, data visualization, and more. They cater to various research needs, including focus groups, IDIs, diary studies, and report writing, among others.

Understanding the strengths and unique features of these tools for qualitative research will help you make the right choice for your specific needs, ensuring the seamless collection and analysis of data that drives informed decision-making.


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