StrategyTeam_how_we_do_it2We rely on a wide array of social science research and analytic methods to help our partners. The choice of specific methods is determined by the specific research questions that need to be answered and the resources (e.g., time, treasure) available. Our key capabilities are outlined below.

Survey design, oversight, analysis and reporting

TST’s professionals (and those at her sister firm, Illuminology) have decades of combined experience designing surveys for a wide range of clients in the private, public, and non-profit sectors. TST’s litigation research skews heavily toward surveys, conducted under the guidance of experts in the field. TST has successfully overseen the development of many litigation-related surveys, measuring:

  • hours worked and breaks taken by employees
  • unpaid overtime hours
  • occurrence of inaccurate timesheets
  • proportion of time spent on exempt vs. nonexempt work
  • the impact of a brand or country of origin on purchase intention of a product
  • the impact of accurate drug information on decisions to choose a generic vs. a branded prescription drug.

In many cases, TST acts as the liaison between the client (the attorney, expert witness or firm) and the fieldwork partner that collects data. In this role, TST performs the following duties:

  • Coordinate schedule of survey testing and fielding with fieldwork firm
  • Relay information between fieldwork partner and expert and / or law firm
  • Oversee daily reports of sample productivity, and update the expert and / or law firm

TST professionals have also designed hundreds of surveys on a wide variety of topics, independent of expert witnesses. These surveys were designed to produce valid, reliable estimates of opinions, attitudes and behaviors from people provided on client lists, or sampled randomly from areas ranging in size from neighborhoods, cities and states to the United States as whole.

Coding of open ended data

TST’s professionals and contractors have extensive experience developing and revising coding frames and coding open ended data from surveys and focus groups. All coding is done by staff or contractors who have worked with TST for years on many different projects. Two TST coders code each response, and then we resolve disagreements between coders and provide final coded data files.

Cognitive pretesting

TST’s principal, Dr. Amanda Scott, has extensive experience using cognitive pretesting to evaluate questionnaires and suggest revisions, if necessary. This process ensures that survey respondents can easily understand the questions presented to them and provide valid and reliable answers to the questions. Dr. Scott was trained in this methodology by one of the nation’s leading survey experts (Dr. Jon Krosnick from Stanford University).

Qualitative design, analysis and interpretation

TST’s professionals have moderated hundreds of focus groups for a variety of clients on many topics. We use well-established theories of group behavior to conduct structured focus groups that elicit valuable qualitative data. TST can handle all aspects of the qualitative process – working with focus group facilities across the country by drawing on well-established relationships with trusted vendors in many locations. We are also well versed in the art of coordinating off-site focus groups for areas where no professional facility is available. This includes arranging for recruiting, hosting, catering, video and audio recording, and space for observers if they are present.

Review and critique of expert reports

The Strategy Team has experience reviewing and offering feedback about the reports provided by other experts. We conduct secondary data analysis to replicate the procedures described in the report, ensuring they were done correctly and also retain outside statistical experts to critique the overall approach to data analysis. Finally, we can review emails and other documents turned over as part of the discovery process for inconsistencies, gaps, etc.