Skip Nav

The difference between qualitative and quantitative research

How to Cite

❶Qualitative research is empirical research where the data are not in the form of numbers Punch, , p. Introduction to Social Research:

Quantitative Research

Quantitative research
Key Differences Between Qualitative And Quantitative Research
Language & Lit

Qualitative and quantitative research methods are ways individuals or businesses understand various information. Quantitative research is the method used when you want to know how many times or how often something happens.

However, qualitative research is the method used when you want to understand why something happens. The main difference between qualitative and quantitative research methods is the approach. In other words, you start with a specific fact and you seek to generalize it to understand it, so you can apply the information to a large group of people.

This means that you have a specific topic like: Then you tear the observation apart looking for patterns before making a general hypothesis. However, quantitative research methods take a general approach with a hypothesis, then tests the theory to find data that either proves or disproves it.

For instance, you theorize that heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, then work to prove or disprove that hypothesis. Another huge difference between qualitative and quantitative research is compiling research data. For instance, after you have created your research project, you must decide the best method to collect data. If you choose to use surveys or polls, then you are employing the quantitative method. A survey consists of creating a number of questions for people to answer.

However, a qualitative method uses a variety of ways to collect data. Quantitative and qualitative research work in tandem. The qualitative element frequently takes place at the front end of the study, exploring values that need measuring in the subsequent quantitative phase. In this way, qualitative research can help to improve the usefulness and efficacy of quantitative research studies.

Qualitative research may offer a diagnostic understanding of what is wrong, while the quantitative research provides hard data across different respondent groups that can lead to specific recommendations with measures that can be used as controls to determine the effectiveness of actions.

A professional market research company will take care in designing a research study to align the most appropriate techniques with the research objectives. Of course, there are also practical considerations around which methods to use: In more niche business-to-business industries, the number of target organizations may be limited.

In such cases, qualitative methods may be the only feasible means of conducting the research. In the table below, we outline some of the typical characteristics of these different research methods:. If you would like to find out more about quantitative and qualitative market research. This site uses cookies to improve your visit. By continuing, you agree to the use of cookies. B2B market research company. What is the difference between quantitative and qualitative research?

Quantitative research — the emphasis is on measurement Quantitative research is concerned with measurement of a market or population. Within market research, this may include, but is not limited to: For instance, estimating market sizes through asking questions about purchasing patterns, frequencies and future buying intent Measuring brand health: In order to robustly ascertain this, large numbers of responses are often required.

For instance, measuring the impact of a market campaign on advertising awareness or brand associations by taking a measurement before and after the campaign also known as pre- and post-testing. Examples of qualitative research methods used in market research include: In-depth interviews Focus groups Market research online communities MROCs Ethnography research Each technique has its own specific advantages, depending on the nature of the target audience and the type of information that needs to be collected.

In the table below, we outline some of the typical characteristics of these different research methods: Characteristic Qualitative market research Quantitative market research Is well suited to… Understanding the "how" or "why" behind specific behaviors or attitudes Projects where the dynamics of a market or decision-making process are not well-understood Niche audiences, because quantitative research may not be possible The initial stages of a larger program of research — especially to further scope or refine the design of later phases of the project Studies where measurement is the primary objective Mass market audiences — such as consumer markets or small businesses Projects that require a high level of statistical confidence in the results Where the structure of a market is known and research respondents are familiar with the language that is used in questions Sample sizes number of interviews, observations etc.

Small numbers — Frequently fewer than responses Larger numbers — Survey sample sizes are often in the s or s Time taken Dependent on sample sizes, but simple qual studies can be completed in days or just a few weeks The fieldwork phase for quant studies may take many weeks or months to complete How the data is reported Data are presented thematically , capturing the main "stories" behind the data. Individual responses in the form of videos, quotes and audio are often used to demonstrate a specific theme.

Usually charts , aggregated tables and other statistical plots. How do I estimate a market size? How do you choose a sample in business-to-business markets? What is a focus group? What is a good NPS score? What is a monadic test?

Quantitative research – the emphasis is on measurement

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

Differences Between Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods: Qualitative Methods: Quantitative Methods: Methods include focus groups, in-depth interviews, and reviews of documents for types of themes: Surveys, structured interviews & observations, and reviews of records or documents for numeric information.

Privacy FAQs

What’s the difference between qualitative and quantitative research? Susan E. DeFranzo September 16, Many times those that undertake a research project often find they are not aware of the differences between Qualitative Research and Quantitative Research methods.

About Our Ads

On Methods: What’s the difference between qualitative and quantitative approaches? Editors Note: We are very fortunate to have Adar Ben-Eliyahu, Ph.D. our new Methods Editor, sharing with us her considerable expertise on research Ben-Eliyahu completed her doctorate in developmental psychology at Duke University, where she honed very strong skills in methods. Difference Between Qualitative and Quantitative Research April 16, By Surbhi S 6 Comments Research is the most widely used tool to increase and brush-up the stock of knowledge about something and someone.

Cookie Info

The main difference between qualitative and quantitative research methods is the approach. With qualitative research methods, you’re starting with a specific observation before moving to a more generalized one. What is the difference between quantitative and qualitative research? In a nutshell, quantitative research generates numerical data or information that can be converted into numbers. Qualitative Research on the other hand generates non-numerical data.