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Focus group templates

Analyze your focus group discussions

Researchers can use this template for focus group discussions or interviews to analyze stakeholders' opinions and preferences about their products.

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Last updated

13 May 2024


Dovetail Editorial Team

Reviewed by

Jean Kaluza


All businesses rely on consumer insights to make informed decisions about improving their products, services, and overall customer experience. 

These insights provide crucial information about the target audience's preferences, needs, and behaviors, shaping the future of companies.

However, finding the right insights can be challenging, especially when you don’t have a decent feedback loop with your customers. Or perhaps they aren’t especially open to discussing their experiences.

That's where focus groups come in. These moderated discussions gather qualitative data and uncover valuable insights that guide business decisions. 

Running a focus group requires careful planning to ensure the discussion yields meaningful results. That's why you need a focus group template. 

Let’s look at how you can run an effective focus group that delivers invaluable insights.

What is a focus group?

A focus group is a research method where you bring a small, diverse group of people together to discuss and provide feedback on a particular topic. This qualitative research technique aims to uncover participants' in-depth insights, opinions, and experiences. 

A skilled moderator leads focus group discussions. They encourage open dialogue and interaction among participants, exploring various perspectives. 

The information from focus groups will help your business understand consumer preferences, motivations, and needs. 

Knowing your target audience allows you to develop relevant products, services, and marketing strategies.

What is the format of a focus group?

A focus group typically follows a structured format, and the session is recorded for later analysis through audio or video. 

The format allows for a dynamic, interactive discussion among participants, fostering a deeper understanding of the topic.

It begins with an introduction, where the facilitator welcomes participants and gives them an overview of the session's purpose. 

The facilitator poses open-ended questions or prompts to initiate discussion. Participants share their thoughts, opinions, and experiences while the facilitator encourages active participation. 

It concludes with a summary of the key findings. 

How do you structure a focus group question?

Focus group questions require careful consideration to elicit meaningful responses. 

Here are some key principles to follow when structuring focus group questions:

  • Begin with broad, open-ended questions to encourage free expression.

  • Progress from general to specific questions to ease participants into the topic.

  • Use neutral, non-leading language to avoid bias.

  • Keep questions concise and easy to understand.

  • Incorporate probes and follow-up questions to explore responses in more depth.

  • Cover all relevant aspects of the topic.

  • Arrange questions in a logical flow to maintain a smooth discussion.

What is a focus group template?

A focus group template is a pre-designed framework or guide that outlines the structure and flow of a focus group session. It’s a blueprint to follow, ensuring consistency and efficiency. 

The template typically includes sections for planning, participant selection, question formulation, moderation techniques, and data analysis. It is a valuable resource, offering a clear roadmap to organize and facilitate meaningful discussions. 

Using a focus group template, you can streamline your efforts, ensure you cover all necessary aspects, and maximize the potential for gathering rich participant insights.

How to use a focus group template

A focus group template offers numerous benefits that contribute to the effectiveness of the focus group research process. It allows you to:

1. Gather insights from a group of people on a particular topic

A focus group template is a valuable tool for gathering insights from a group of people on a specific topic. 

Researchers can use the template to structure and guide the focus group session, covering all relevant aspects. Bringing together a diverse group of participants allows for exploring different perspectives, experiences, and opinions. 

A template provides a framework for asking open-ended questions, encouraging participants to share their thoughts and insights. 

Through active discussion and interaction, the focus group becomes a fertile ground for uncovering valuable insights that may not have surfaced through other research methods.

2. Upload recordings or other focus group data to identify and tag key themes

Once the focus group session is complete, researchers can use the focus group template to analyze the data. 

The template can guide how to organize and structure the data for analysis. Uploading recordings or transcripts of the focus group discussions will be your first step in analyzing your focus group discussion. 

You can listen or read through the data, identifying key themes, ideas, and patterns from the participants' discussions. 

It’s ideal if your template also offers a tagging system to categorize and label different topics or concepts discussed during the focus group. This enables a more systematic, efficient data analysis so you can identify overarching themes or issues relevant to the research objectives.

3. Analyze the thoughts and opinions shared by the participants to pull out actionable insights

The Dovetail focus group template guides you through the analysis process. You can look for commonalities, contradictions, or trends within the participants' responses. 

The template provides methods for coding or categorizing the data, allowing you to organize the insights into meaningful clusters. 

In theory, a good focus group template includes analysis features like:

Automatic sentiment analysis

This feature automatically determines participants’ emotional tone in the focus group.

It uses algorithms to analyze the language and identify whether the sentiment is positive, negative, or neutral. This helps you understand the group's overall view and how participants feel about specific topics or concepts without manually reading through each response.

Thematic tagging

This allows you to categorize responses into different themes or topics. 

Applying thematic tags to specific data points will enable you to organize the information and easily retrieve responses related to a particular theme. 

Identifying patterns and recurring ideas within the focus group data makes analyzing and interpreting the insights easier.

Sentiment tagging

This involves assigning sentiment labels to specific data points in the focus group data.

The feature enables you to label individual responses or comments with sentiment markers such as positive, negative, or neutral. 

It provides a more granular understanding of participants' emotions and opinions, allowing you to identify the sentiment associated with specific ideas or statements.

Systematically examining the data allows you to identify patterns, draw conclusions, and generate actionable insights to inform decision-making. 

These insights can be invaluable for product development, marketing strategies, or understanding consumer preferences and behaviors.

How to write a focus group report

Writing a focus group report involves a systematic approach to summarize the key findings from the session. 

1. Write the program information

Begin the report with basic information about the focus group program. Include details such as the session's date, time, and location. 

Mention the research team and any other relevant contextual information.

2. Briefly introduce the focus group participants

Provide a brief introduction to the participants of the focus group with demographic information, such as: 

  • Age

  • Gender

  • Occupation

Maintain confidentiality by not disclosing personal identifying details. 

The introduction helps readers understand the group’s diversity and perspectives.

3. Describe the background and purpose of the focus group

Explain the background and purpose of the focus group. 

Provide a concise overview of the research objectives and the specific topic under investigation. This sets the context for readers, helping them understand why you conducted the focus group.

4. Record the responses of participants

Present the main findings and insights from the focus group. 

Summarize the participants' responses, highlighting the key themes, opinions, and ideas that emerged during the discussion. 

Use quotes or paraphrased statements to support your analysis and provide a well-rounded view of participants' perspectives.

Logically organize the findings, grouping insights by theme, topic, or discussion chronology. 

Use clear and concise language to convey the information, avoiding jargon or technical terms that may confuse readers.

5. Sign off the focus group report

Conclude the report by summarizing the focus group’s main takeaways. 

Highlight the key insights, trends, or patterns that emerged, emphasizing their significance in addressing the research objectives. If applicable, provide recommendations or suggestions based on the findings.

When you’re done, sign off the report with the names and roles of the research team members to add credibility and accountability.

With Dovetail, you can share the focus group report as an insight. You can invite team members and stakeholders to view your report containing the data you collected and analyzed.

An example of a focus group report

Here is a sample focus group report:

Program information

Company: ABC Electronics

Date: May 15, 2023

Time: 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM

Location: ABC Electronics Headquarters, Conference Room A

Facilitator: Sarah Johnson, Customer Research Manager

Focus group participants

Participant 1: A loyal customer of ABC Electronics for three years

  • Age: 32

  • Gender: Male

  • Occupation: Software engineer

Participant 2: A tech-savvy individual with a background in IT

  • Age: 27

  • Gender: Female

  • Occupation: IT specialist

Participant 3: A first-time buyer of ABC Electronics products

  • Age: 45

  • Gender: Female

  • Occupation: Homemaker

Participant 4: A frequent online shopper interested in electronics

  • Age: 38

  • Gender: Male

  • Occupation: Marketing manager

Participant 5: A long-term customer of ABC Electronics with a recent customer service interaction

  • Age: 56

  • Gender: Female

  • Occupation: Retired teacher

Background and purpose

ABC Electronics conducted the focus group to gain valuable insights from customers regarding their experiences and needs. The aim was to understand customer preferences and improve products and services, enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Participant responses

Product satisfaction

All participants expressed satisfaction with the quality and performance of ABC Electronics products, praising their reliability and user-friendly features.


Participants emphasized the importance of competitive pricing and suggested occasional discounts or loyalty rewards to further enhance customer value.

Customer support

The participants provided positive feedback regarding the responsiveness and helpfulness of ABC Electronics' customer support team. However, a few participants suggested extending support hours, especially on weekends.

Product improvements

Participants provided valuable suggestions for enhancing product customization options and product durability.

Communication channels

Participants preferred multiple communication channels such as email, phone, and live chat for customer support.


This focus group report concludes with the hope that the insights from our valuable customers will help ABC Electronics enhance customer satisfaction, improve products and services, and build stronger relationships.

Thank you,

Sarah Johnson

Customer Research Manager

ABC Electronics


A focus group template can be a game-changer in the quest for better insights. The template provides a structured framework to ensure you cover all essential aspects, facilitating efficient and thorough focus group sessions. 

A focus group template also enables you to gather diverse perspectives, uncovering valuable insights you may have missed. And with analysis features like thematic and sentiment tagging, you can easily make sense of the data and extract actionable insights. 

Embrace the power of focus group templates and empower your team to delve deeper and make informed decisions that drive success in your business.

Focus group template

Analyze your focus group discussions

Use template


What is the main purpose of a focus group?

The primary purpose is to gather qualitative data and insights from participants with a group discussion about a specific topic or research objective.

What is the ideal size of a focus group?

A focus group usually has 6–10 participants. This allows for diverse perspectives while maintaining an intimate and manageable group dynamic.

How many questions should be in a focus group?

The number of questions can vary depending on the session's duration and the topic's complexity. It’s a good idea to carefully craft 6–8 questions for in-depth discussion within the timeframe.

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