Losing focus groups: New technology gives stronger voice to people, helps companies improve service

January 28 2019


WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Say goodbye to the conventional focus group and its lack of real-time feedback.

A Purdue University-affiliated startup has created technology to help companies better capture people’s feedback on services rendered and make improvements.

In an era where real-time information is king, the technology is designed to help companies collect feedback for a variety of applications such as hearing from a hospital patient about their stay, employees about workplace conditions or tracking what visitors actually do when they visit a museum.

Louis Tay, a psychological sciences professor in Purdue’s College of Health and Human Sciences, founded the company Expimetrics Inc. The company’s new platform could replace conventional survey tools, including those sent after purchasing something online.

“Organizations and researchers have recognized that the only way to drive meaningful change is to understand how people experience their everyday life as it happens in the moment,” Tay said. “Our technology can help improve workplace well-being, reduce self-harm behaviors and increase creativity for people in any industry or field. We’re really proud of that.”

The Purdue innovation is a cloud-based web and app platform. It uses real-time, real-world, multimedia and location capabilities to provide accurate experience responses.

FFA, whose name stands for Future Farmers of America, and Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts have used the technology to better understand what visitor experiences look like in real time to provide programs and events with increased engagement.

The platform is composed of two layers: One is for users who are interested in submitting their experiences, and the other is for people who are trying to capture the experiences.

The platform offers several ways of collecting experiences, like location-based and direct surveys, along with multiple data types, such as self-report, voice, sound and video.

“These data sets are much richer than what is available today, and when combined with Expimetrics’ proprietary analytical tools, drive better insight into behavior and engagement,” Tay said. “Expimetrics works with organizations and researchers to understand how experience insights can lead to a life-changing patient experience for a child fighting a serious illness, flourishing employee experience, a groundbreaking product innovation, or a pioneering academic research program.”

Their work aligns with Purdue’s Giant Leaps celebration, acknowledging the global advancements in health as part of Purdue’s 150th anniversary. This is one of the four themes of the yearlong celebration’s Ideas Festival, designed to showcase Purdue as an intellectual center solving real-world issues.

Expimetrics has worked with the Purdue Foundry, an entrepreneurship and commercialization accelerator in Discovery Park’s Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship. Technology used by Expimetrics has been licensed through the Purdue Office of Technology Commercialization. The company is looking for additional partners.

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