Qualitative research is all about answering questions understanding and exploration of issues. This type of research is usually applied every day in the community and work places. Therefore it can be described as a necessary process in our day to day communication activates.
What data does qualitative research collect?
Qualitative research is a type of research that seeks to answer why, where, what and how through topical analysis using research methods such as interviews, notes, videos, photos and open-ended questionnaires. Most of its focus is concentrated on the inside view.
Primary data collection
In most cases qualitative research lays a foundation for a quantitative research. It means it is more human orientated, it analyse human behaviours, lifestyles and cultures.
When to choose qualitative research?
There are several options to choose whether qualitative research would be a appropriate one for your research. Those can include:
- Personalised and group focused interviews
- Internet chat interviews
- Telephone interviews
- Web-cam conversations through your computer or any other technology
Non real time options
- Use of social media to interact with your respondents
- Online discussions on blogs, forums or journals
Quantitative research includes conducting surveys and various types of customer questionnaires. Moreover, quantitative research is asking respondents in a structured way so you can produce a lot valuable and accurate data. In order to get a fairly large number of data it is crucial to make sure that you are targeting the right group of people.
Structure of quantitative research
Answers in this type of research are closed-ended in other words it requires respondents to choose from a specific selection of answers and do not allow for the respondents to elaborate their answers. Here is a simple example of the closed ended question:
How often do you buy a tooth brash?
- Once a week b twice a week c. three times a week
So which research method is better?
There is no simple answer for that question. You as a researcher have to analyse what will be better for your research. There is always a possibility to combine both of them into one research. Here is presented a simple “Qualitative research vs Quantitative Research” table which is showing the most significant differences between those two methods:
|The purpose||• To discover opinions of your targeted group
• To achieve an understanding of reasons and motivations
|• To measure the value of views and opinion on particular topic
• To generalize results
|Target audience||• Usually small number of targeted respondents||• Large number of targeted audience|
|Data Collection||• Interviews, phone calls, (video) chats, blogs||• Surveys, questionnaires|
|Data analysis||• Non- statistical||• Very straight forward statistical data|