Data Gurus


The Role of Research at Comcast with Christa Chaffinch | Ep. 105

We are delighted today to welcome Christa Chaffinch, the Qualitative Research Manager at Comcast Business, as our guest.

Christa is joining us today to talk about quantitative research

Christa’s bio

Christa has a background in psychology, sociology, and new product development. She has a master’s degree in creative writing, as well as an MBA.

About ten years ago, she started her career in market research, where she uncovers insights in customer experiences and journeys, product messaging and positioning, and market intelligence, using mainly qualitative methods.

Christa is currently managing qualitative research and competitive intelligence across all areas of Comcast Business.

Christa loves her job

Christa loves her job! And she has a unique way of describing market research in terms of what it means, as well as in terms of the skills that are required to deliver insightful and actionable research.

What Christa does at Comcast

Christa is part of a relatively small, but mighty team at Comcast Business. Her role revolves mainly around qualitative research, and it involves focus groups, in-depth interviewing, and any kind of sentiment analysis. She also takes care of certain aspects of competitive intelligence gathering, to figure out where Comcast Business sits in the marketplace at large.

Doing valuable qualitative work

Christa feels very fortunate to work at a place where qualitative research is highly valued.

A lot of what Comcast Business sells is what people tend to think of as commodities, like voice-lines and the internet. And a lot of what they do there, especially when they’re looking for new product development sites, and different ways of segmenting their customers and messaging to them, is thought of in their qualitative research.

Where quantitative research is used

Hearing people’s opinions about how they run their businesses, what their values are, how they decide which vendors to use, and even about their hiring processes, helps Christa to learn about the different ways that people run businesses. And that’s why the team at Comcast Business makes use of so much qualitative research.

WhyComcast Business does qualitative research 

Christa’s research is focused mainly on businesses, and she explains that by doing qualitative research, her team can gain some deep insights. She hopes that the depth of those insights makes what they have to offer to their customers a little different.

Focusing on virtual focus groups

Currently, Christa’s team has switched over to doing only virtual focus groups. They have even managed to complete two or three projects, from start to finish, doing all their qualitative research virtually.

The virtual focus groups have worked out so well that Christa doesn’t think that her team will ever go back to doing their research in the way they did it before.

Doing different types of quantitative research

With small businesses, Christa’s team likes to get a lot of different people in the room, so that they can all bounce their ideas off of each other.

With universities, health systems, and large companies, their interviews are more in-depth, to give her team more insight into how those large enterprises make their decisions.

The way they do their research depends on what they want to learn, and to whom they are talking.

The total number of projects 

In 2019, Christa’s team managed a total of about hundred-and-fifty projects, from beginning to end.

At any given time, Christa usually has about two qualitative projects going on at once. And, over a year, she averages out at around twenty-five projects.

Things are changing

The way that Christa’s internal clients are consuming the results of qualitative research has been changing over the last year or so. And, over time, people seem to be coming to understand the value of qualitative research more.

Working with every department in the company

Christa’s team does a lot of varied and interesting projects, and they are proud to have done qualitative research work for every single department within Comcast Business.

Being as user-friendly as possible

Her team has also done a lot of work to ensure that their coverage of the way that people search for things is as user friendly as possible.



Comcast Business


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Sima is passionate about data and loves to share, learn, and help others that share that passion. If you love data as much as her, subscribe on iTunes and don’t forget to leave a rating and review!