Our History


Digital Research, Inc. (DRI) is rooted in a rich tradition of survey research. Our founder, Bob Domine, trained at the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, in the late 1970’s. There, he contributed a color-coded data collection instrument to a nationwide study commissioned by the US Postal Service, which eventually found its way into universal use. You can see its legacy atop every USPS postal scale, today. An original copy of that instrument, faded to nearly black-and-white, hangs in our office.


DRI got off to an opportunistic start in the spring of 1992, when FamilyFun magazine needed research support to create its Toy of the Year Awards. This nationwide toy evaluation program culminated in the magazine’s franchise Holiday spread on the best new toys.


Two years later, DRI collaborated on the creation of FamilyPC magazine. We evaluated shrink-wrapped consumer software for each issue of the monthly magazine, using a national panel of home use testers.


With the advent of the Web, DRI’s software testing panel migrated online. We were among the very first to collect consumer attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs on the Internet. In 1999, DRI received the EXPLOR Award, recognizing innovation and excellence in online research. The EXPLOR Awards were created by Arthur C. Nielsen, Jr. We collected the award from Mr. Nielsen himself, in Madison, WI.


Just before the turn-of-the-century (we can say that now!), DRI diversified into travel and tourism research, through the acquisition of Davidson-Peterson Associates. Until recently, we operated in that vertical under the DPA brand. We have now consolidated all our services under Digital Research, Inc.… or simply DRI.


In 2016, we acquired Critical Insights. This addition provided a Northern New England client base to the business, especially in healthcare, financial services, and not-for-profits. It also gave us a thriving qualitative services practice, with a focus facility in Portland, ME. We have carried on the semi-annual Critical Insights on Maine tracking study of ME consumer sentiment, an omnibus that provides a vehicle for Maine organizations to reach a large balanced sample of residents. To that, we have added a national on-demand omnibus, NationWise.


In the summer of 2022, DRI expanded its operations into the New Hampshire market, offering a full range of recruiting services and qualitative research facilitation.


Today, we bring Unique Perspectives to all our engagements – from profiling the listeners of public radio’s most beloved programs… to the ongoing execution of national tracking studies… to concept testing for some of the nation’s most recognized brands… to social media assisted recruiting of low-incidence focus group participants. And many things in between.

​Our business relationships are based on the values of integrity, empathy, skill, and commitment. If you share these values, we would be delighted to have a conversation about how we can help you better understand and engage with your customers or stakeholders.