What Is Quantitative Research?

Quantitative and qualitative research are two general types of research used by companies to learn about consumers. Quantitative research is a quantifiable research approach in which raw data are collected and turned into usable information by mathematical manipulation that leads to forward-looking predictions. Statistical comparisons and percentages are common numerical metrics used in quantitative research.

  1. Basic Features

    • Quantitative research uses data collection for statistical formulas and future projections. It provides support for companies in decision making, which allows them to have more confidence when taking action. All data are collected in numerical or statistical format. Relative to qualitative data, quantitative data are more often recommended during latter phases of a research project or process, according to psychologist and researcher James Neill.

    Techniques

    • Several quantitative research techniques and formats are commonly used. Surveys are typical with large sample sizes. Surveys are question-and-answer formats that are conducted in person, on the phone or through other interactive points with people. Structured questionnaires are another name for surveys. Questions are often closed-ended, meaning answers are short and limited responses are given. By limiting responses to a "Yes" or "No," or only offering a few multiple choice answers, survey conductors will get more easily quantifiable data. This is contrary to qualitative data that allows for open-ended answers.

    Benefits

    • One of the main benefits of quantitative research compared with qualitative research is that it is more precise and easy to analyze. Qualitative research requires more subjective evaluation. Quantitative data also tend to offer a more efficient picture of the results; they are also usually more objective as researchers are not able to manipulate the numbers or scores when the studies are conducted accurately and without bias. With qualitative studies, researchers break down opinions and thoughts and may have bias. Quantitative research is also more efficient to carry out when dealing with a larger sample size.

    Drawbacks

    • Both research types have pros and cons, which is why many thorough studies involve both types. While quantitative data are precise, they offer limited ability to get more involved or in-depth responses. Respondents are typically limited to the options given. These studies are also costly in many instances as you have to invest time in preparing the surveys and often pay independent research firms or internal employees to conduct them.

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References

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