Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Quantitative Vs Qualitative research

Whats the difference?

As the term suggests. Quanti-tative research is the research which bases its conclusions on the quantity of respondents.
On the other hand, quali-tative is about the quality of the findings from a small, representative group of people

Quantitative research is the kind if research we are traditionally, conventionally exposed to. It revolves around the number of people you can get to answer your question(s). Further to which, number-crunching comes to play. A knowledge of statistics is crucial in deriving results.
We frequently come-across reports based on quantitative research.
"64% of urban Indian women feel they are discriminated against in office"
(That is just an arbitrary piece of information I created. I don't know if there is in any truth in it.) Going by my instincts, I don't believe there to be any truth in it. We can't rule out the possibility of a small section feeling that way but I surely don't think that more than half of the urban, working woman in India would think that.
Quantitative research is like money. Its all about 'how much?'

Qualitative research is about being in touch with your instincts rather than your mathematical abilities

Qualitative research, like love is more about the quality

When do we use quantitative research?
When you want specific numbers.
Saying, "most urban, working women feel discriminated against" can never sound as satisfactory as "64% urban, working women feel discriminated against" Of course, the source of the information is of importance. You can depend on any top research agency with the requisite facilities to do quanti research.
Quanti findings is more for brand marketers to understand market drivers etc.
When do we use qualitative research?
When you want insights and a deeper understanding of the consumer. Perceptiveness and the ability to follow instincts is of primary importance in the people that constitute a quali research team.
e.g if someone frowns at a brand logo, the quali moderator should be able to tell whether they are frowning at the logo itself or at the bad after-sales-service he/she gets from the the brand it represents.
To change the logo may not be the right recommendation then would it?
Quali findings are for advertisers who need consumer insights and consumer understanding.

PS: The above scribbles are simply based on my experience in advertising. A professional researcher would give a better insight into various kinds of research and the applications of it.

4 comments:

meraj said...

i would say, "All you need is Love"

Farhan said...

“If all people are unique, and if they are constantly changing each and every day, then all one can say about any research finding is that it applied to that group of people on that given day, and given the propensity of humans to be different and to change, then it is unlikely that one would get the same results if one were to repeat the study.”
Wayne Dyer quotes (American motivational Speaker and Author of self-help best selling books. b.1940)

Keep writing Pooja, enjoyed reading your post.

Meraj said...

Very interesting quote. Quite true.

POOJA NAIR said...

Thanks Farhan!

I am going to use it in a new post :)
It shows that one should never take research findings too seriously.