Qualitative Research

Whether you’re assessing attitudes and perceptions in the rural heartland, urban America, or throughout the world, Essman Research knows the art of developing and asking the right questions. Our experienced moderators conduct focus groups at our research facility in West Des Moines, in rural communities and metropolitan centers.

Our West Des Moines research facility offers:

  • Comfortable tiered seating for up to 15 client observers

  • Digital recording

  • FocusVision

  • Client conference room

  • Wireless Internet access

  • Free on-site parking

  • ADA accessible

Qualitative Research Services

  • Traditional in-person and online focus groups

  • Personal in-depth interviews

  • Online bulletin boards

  • Usability testing

  • Observational research

  • Mystery shopping

  • Project management

  • Expert facilitation

  • Recruitment services

  • Facility rental

  • Data analysis and professional presentations

  • Secondary research


Recognized World Leader


Essman Research has been recognized as a “top-rated” focus group facility worldwide by the  moderators and researchers who have participated in the Impulse Survey of Focus Facilities. The ratings are based on recruiting, personnel, physical facility, location, food, and overall value.

Convenient Des Moines Location

Essman Research

2910 Westown Parkway, Suite 302

West Des Moines, Iowa 50266

Tel: 515.237.0324
Fax: 515.243.5941

Program Spotlight


DMPS Virtual Campus Needs Assessment

To expand its teaching opportunities for students in Des Moines and across the state of Iowa, Des Moines Public Schools (DMPS) explored the need for a “virtual campus,” an online school to teach students entirely or primarily online.

Des Moines Public Schools (DMPS) hired Essman Research, a division of SPPG, to help them explore their community’s interest in virtual schooling. The online school would provide the same or very similar content and benefits as provided by a brick and mortar school (learning materials, online exercises, self-paced courses, live online classes, tests, web forums, etc.) but delivers these classes through the internet. The instructional models under consideration by DMPS would range from distance learning types which provides study materials and web-based discussions for asynchronous instruction, to real time, interactive classes where students work with a teacher as a group or individually via an audio-visual application.


Our team conducted six focus groups, telephone, and online surveys with DMPS administrators and educators, DMPS high school students in grades 9-12, and central Iowa parents with children in grades 6-12 to provide DMPS with data from their stakeholders. Our qualitative and quantitative research gave DMPS the information needed to assess the advantages and disadvantages to online learning among DMPS students and parents, the perceptions of the DMPS virtual campus, and the likelihood students would enroll in the virtual campus. In August 2019, the DMPS Virtual Campus earned accreditation from the Iowa Department of Education, becoming the first online high school developed in Iowa.

Learn More about the DMPS Virtual Campus


Quality Research Services

Essman Research is committed to providing quality research services and adheres to the highest ethical standards. Essman Research is an active member of the Insights Association (formerly the Marketing Research Association and the Council of American Survey Research Organizations) and the American Marketing Association (AMA).