inquiry, discovery, insight


Our work starts with using the right tool for the right question.


As trained anthropologists, we use the tools developed in that discipline to provide a deeper level of understanding of behavior and attitudes. We step out of our offices and labs to observe, probe, question, videotape and analyze practices for the deeper meaning and drivers of real behavior. There is a growing awareness of the value of ethnography in business - many organizations are incorporating it into their everyday toolkit. It differs from other qualitative methods by focusing on the larger context in which behavior occurs, and viewing people and behavior more holistically than research has in the past.

Focus Groups

We customize the group to your needs, whether it is the traditional 8-10 people per group, or an affinity group (a group of people with some common characteristic) designed to address your particular audience. We handle all the arrangements and logistics, and can set up groups in any major city and many suburban/rural locations.

On-line chats, bulletin boards and hybrid approaches can help you reach low-incidence populations and lower your travel budget.  These methods can produce a significant amount of data in a short time.  While there are more choices in designing a project than in the past, in all cases the research objective should determine the method used.

Triads and Dyads

Sometimes clients need to hear the full story from a smaller number of people who can explain to us, and to each other, why they do what they do. Dyads and Triads (small groups of 2 or 3 people) can be a powerful source of insights and another method to get a piece of the whole picture.

In-depth Interviews

We conduct in-depth interviews in any kind of setting – focus group facilities, business offices, homes or at any location convenient to the audience. Typically these are open-ended, allowing each individual to tell his story to us, and help us reach a new level of understanding about thinking and intentions.


Observing behavior and processes is an opportunity for creativity. We shadow people who are carrying out tasks of interest, videotape what they do in the environment in which they actually do it, map their routines, shop/work/commute with them – whatever it takes to help us understand real behavior.

But the key is not using a particular method, it is using the appropriate method that will address your strategic issue. This is what every client needs to generate results efficiently.

We handle the entire research process, including creating the project design, refining the research issue, developing a plan that works for your goals, time and budget, conducting the research and analyzing and presenting the findings.

Sando and Associates has provided insights for clients in the areas of:

  • Business Development
  • Consumer Insights
  • Product Development and Design
  • Innovation
  • Monitoring and Evaluation
  • Marketing Research
  • Strategy Development
  • Fuzzy Front End

With extensive experience in financial services, including banking and health insurance, we particularly enjoy leveraging our expertise to help companies in those businesses identify and grow new sources of revenue.  We serve a wide variety of other industries in the private sector as well, including consumer products, media, food and beverage, technology, energy and apparel.

In addition we have worked with non-profits including membership associations, helping them to meet their goals.  Sando and associates also provides services to the government through contracts directly with agencies, and subcontracts with other business firms.  We have worked in the areas of program evaluation, research design and implementation and meeting facilitation.