Research is the powerful tool that can be used almost in any sphere of human life. Learn about the quantitative research methodology, its benefits and uses.
Nowadays the modern world moves on, science and technology keep developing every day. That is why many people start taking interest in them. Plenty of them ask: “What is quantitative research?”.
Such type of research may refer either to the natural or to the social sciences. To define quantitative research correctly, you need to understand the notion. Thus, it is described as a systematic empirical investigation of a certain phenomenon or object with the help of mathematical, statistical, or computational techniques. In addition to the meaning, every scientific thing must have an objective. For the observed research, it is to develop and then employ mathematical models, theories, and hypotheses concerning phenomena.
Types of research
The researches for any scientific purposes might be divided into several groups, among which are:
Quantitative. The main features include the following:
- conversion of observations to numbers,
- hypothesis based on samples observations and statistical analysis of data testing,
- mathematical descriptions of relationships among variables.
to examine relationships,
to describe variables,
to determine cause-and-effect interactions.
Qualitative.Among the key features, you’ll find:
verbal descriptions and explanations,
the use of participant observation, in-depth interviews/analysis,
human behavior orientation.
Descriptive. The principles contain:
- description of various aspects of society,
- assessment of specific characteristics of individuals/ groups/situations/events,
- summarizing the discrete observations data,
- answering the question “What is this?”.
Explanatory. The main features:
use of the correlations,
explanation of how the parts of a particular phenomenon are related to each other,
answering the question “Why?”.
Predictive. Among the principles, there are the following:
prediction of precise relationships between dimensions/characteristics,
identification of risk factors, which could predict complications.
Basic. The purpose includes:
- understanding of the observed phenomenon,
- accumulation of information, extension of the base of knowledge,
- discovering of general principles,
- theory formulation.
Applied. The field of interest contains:
search of solution for the existing issue,
answering how the principles of human behavior can be used to solve problems.
Any type of scientific research, including quantitative one, possesses certain characteristics:
it has a problem to solve and a question to answer,
it is directed to the general objective achievement,
it follows a particular scientific approach,
it adds new information (through testing, validation of results, new facts, explanation finding, etc.),
it should be ethical.
Quantitative research methodology
Methodology denotes the systematic, theoretical analysis of the methods applied to a particular field of study. It’s a complex of theoretical analysis of the methods and principles of a certain branch of knowledge.
Quantitative research usually applies numbers. With the help of them, it can test hypothesis, make predictions, and describe events. Such approach is very convenient, because it allows using statistical tests. First of all, the researcher defines what s/he is going to measure or, in other words, finds an operational definition. It is necessary to constrict your observations in order to exclude irrelevant things. Methods used are taken from natural sciences.
The greatest advantage of this research type is that by examining numbers, a certain level of bias is being removed. Besides, the results of one research can be applied to larger populations, making the findings’ generalizable.
Imagine you need to carry out a quantitative research. Your purpose is to observe the school violence. Thus, you select just one school and have certain numbers of children who commit violent actions and those who affected by them. Even if the figures are taken for this particular school, they might be generalized for the other educational institutions. For instance, you can say how frequent violence occurs on a school ground in general.
Quantitative research might be:
one on one,
face to face,
in a group,
administered by the researcher,
It usually applies such methods, as:
Quantitative market research
As this kind of analysis uses numbers, it has become very popular for market intelligence.
So, it measures a market and quantifies these measurements with data. The data may refer to:
market growth rates,
satisfaction and commitment, etc.
As it is a social research, it often applies the methods of questionnaires and surveys to find out customers’ opinion. Thus, various markets can better understand the needs of individuals and create special strategies and plans.
The process usually includes the following steps:
Problem definition. It concerns the aspects of the issue along with the decision, which information is necessary, and what the hypothesis is.
Research design. The researchers decide which methods are better to apply for their purpose (including concrete questions, their order, and way of rating them).
Data collection. This step is essential for selecting the way of information collecting. Telephone, email, or any other things may be used.
Data analysis. Make sure the data is compatible with the statistical techniques and the purpose. Then it’s necessary to perform those techniques on the data received and test the results for statistical significance. Finally interpret the results by defining what they mean.
Report writing and presentation. As the last step, the report should be written (it usually contains all the information about methodology, objectives, and so on).
These are the main stages of quantitative market research. It might be very helpful for various companies, which work with the market and produce or just sell different types of goods.
Now you know the answer to the question “What is quantitative research?”. It is one of the most popular types applied in different fields of knowledge. As all the others, it has its own methodology and the key features, which include mathematical descriptions, conversion into numbers, and data testing.
Such kind of research is applicable for creating generalized statistics. That is why it is extremely helpful as a market research. Among the most common methods, you will find surveys and questionnaires (held online, by email, telephone, etc.), analysis of the statistical data, observation (with further conversion into figures).
It is a good way to get new reliable information. However, you shouldn’t forget to put forward a proper hypothesis and make sure your received data are appropriate for statistical techniques.