Whitney Anderson began her market research career in the US, as an intern for a qualitative research agency in Birmingham, Alabama. In 2013 she moved to Australia and joined the EY Sweeney team and has been working as a qualitative researcher ever since. At 26 years old, Whitney has been fortunate enough to learn a significant amount about Australia and Australians via qual projects across a range of sectors across a wide range of industries, including agriculture, financial services, FMCG, healthcare, retail, utilities, government, not for profit and education. This has given her a unique perspective on not only working, but living in Australia.
She has managed projects using a number of methodologies, from traditional focus groups to online discussions to ethnographic techniques. She is particularly interested in how digital technology can be used innovatively in market research and has used smartphone and other digital technology on a number of projects to deliver deeper, richer consumer insights.
A passionate presenter, ukulele player and leader of song, Whitney brings a high level of energy, passion and enthusiasm to the team at EY Sweeney.
Sometimes researchers have to go where they don’t ‘fit’ in order to reach the truth. Qualitative researchers in particular can find themselves in unexpected places and situations (for example, speaking to at-risk youth, drug users and those with politically and socially disparate opinions) when answering the call of duty. But often the most profound insights can come from feeling uncomfortable – whether that means going outside your social boundaries, learning to take seriously opinions that you find distasteful, or confronting parts of yourself you aren’t proud of. (“I was forced to confront that I’m not comfortable around elderly people”).
This presentation will discuss the ways in which researchers must push through social and personal boundaries to reach real insights and provides practical tips for protecting your physical and emotional wellbeing when conducting “risky research”. Referencing my own experiences as a young woman from rural Tennessee who has found herself learning a lot about Australia, but also myself through conducting research that challenged me in many ways.