Sunday, August 31, 2014

Qualitative & Quantitative Research

Mr. Smiley Face Waiting for His Turn

"If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research" - Albert Einstein.
I really admire research! Research is powerful enough to helps us reduce the risk of making a bad choice. Essentially in terms of business, research is conducted to discover customers' needs and to see if these needs are worth catering for through a product/service. Yet we also use research in our daily life (esp. Qualitative research), there are two main sorts of research:

* Qualitative Research
When you intend to buy a new car, or decide on your upcoming holiday destination you ask some friends about their recommendations. These are all examples of Qualitative research, you look for what some people are doing and try to pick an option from that list. This type of research helps us build new knowledge and expand the list of options.

Interviews and focus groups are amongst the popular tools to conduct Qualitative research, having diverse group of participants (age, gender, background etc..) ensures richer findings. The thing about Qualitative research though is that the findings cannot be generalized, and this is where Quantitative research comes into place.

* Quantitative Research
This sort of research is used to reduce findings to the ones that are really important, in other words helps us make a scientific conclusion.

A popular tool to hold such research is a survey, but the sample should have at least 30 respondents (of course having more respondents better represents the population). Quantitative research involves sophisticated mathematical sorts of analysis using SPSS or MS Excel tools (including correlation, anova, t-test, chi-square, analysis.. the list goes on) and the what so called P-value, which if less than 0.05 means the observation is not happening due to chance or in other words is statistically significant.

One last thing, sometimes people unintentionally express thoughts that are different than what they really have in mind. So, findings are not sacred. And what does this picture have to do with research? Simply, research usually leaves you happy with the end result!

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