Ethnographic & Human Centred Research

The popularity of ethnographic research has exploded in recent years helping companies gain ground-level insight on consumer behaviour. Research on user experience and behavioral insights now form part of major public or private entities in delivering new products or designing new policy and legislation.  EHCR based in Cork City, Ireland is committed to providing the highest quality research and consultancy for the Irish market to companies and State bodies.


What is ethnography?
Ethnography is a long established research methodology utilized by anthropologists to understand societies and cultures around the world. This approach requires specialist expertise in uncovering communities’ perspectives on life and world. Ethnography captures stories from the ground up in the voice of those we wish to understand providing holistic and sensitive understanding of target groups. Ethnographic and human-centred research provides rich data to aid consumer engagement and ethical best practice in established and developing markets. As the problems with “Big Data” become ever more apparent, the anthropologist is becoming more important in sorting through, applying reason, making sense, and ultimately turning user focused “small data” to use in business. Multi-nationals such as Google, Intel, Amazon, Volkswagon as well as State Governments and bodies also hires anthropologists to drive research and innovation and aid in analysis and delivery of policy or development of human-friendly products.


When to use ethnography?
Ethnography is a more suitable approach when trying to gain insight into sub-cultures, communities, particular demographics based on age, gender, music preferences, any time there is a social group involved. Ethnography will provide better results than individual focused methods such as psycho-social approaches or behavioral economics that use inductive methods. Such methods produce good results a lot of the time but can fail to adequately explain why they fail when they do or even why they succeed. Ethnographic research provides explanatory frameworks so that you know why you are getting the results you are from your end-users or consumers.


Who are we?
EHCR is led by Dr. James Cuffe and Dr. Jill O’Mahony. We have a blended skill set that enables us to analyze data in a way that is essential for new markets and in the development of policy and regulation. By analyzing trends in culture as it moves and changes, we focus on the small stories in order to understand how they impact the bigger picture.


What do we do?
First and foremost we conduct research and provide consultancy based on your remit and required objectives.
We also provide training on research from companies that wish to up-skill their own research teams. This can be done in-house or at our own facilities in either Dublin, Cork, Galway or Waterford. We can deliver CPD or bespoke modules on a range of topics from Ethics in Industry to Critical and Creative Thinking, to Communication and Leadership Skills.
We can provide advice on corporate responsibility and consumer campaigning in a world where ethical consumerism is essential, offering insight into ethical markets that proponents of “Big Data” are incapable of.


When can we start?
Reach out and drop us a line and let us know in broad strokes what it is you wish to do. We can let you know your best approach and how we can help. Please contact jcuffe [at]