As a professional marketing research firm, we have fielded many questions about Quantitative Research. As with nearly any research method, there are misconceptions, misunderstandings and misinformation. New Perspectives has compiled a list of the frequently asked questions we hear most often along with our answers for your consideration. The answers below are designed to provide clarity when choosing your next marketing research agency.
We have learned that the more information we gather early in the process, the more likely we are to achieve a successful campaign. By paying attention to details and encouraging ongoing dialogue with our clients, they realize the desired results.
Frequently Asked Questions About Quantitative Research
Let’s start with the basics. Just exactly what is Quantitative Research? – In its most basic form, quantitative research is a systematic approach that relies on detailed statistical analysis to produce “quantitative data.” Although this data may be used later to form conclusions, properly conducted quantitative research always produces data that is empirically fact based. e.g. How many people are in the room? Count them. How many are left handed? Ask them for a show of hands and count the number of hands up. In order to be “statistically valid” there must be a substantial enough “sample size” to ensure the data is meaningful. If there were only a handful of individuals in the room in the above example, the results would be virtually meaningless. If there 5,000 or 10,000, the results would be “statistically valid.”
How do Market Research Firms use it? – As briefly mentioned above, research firms use “statistically valid data” to develop theories, support positions and uncover trends. One danger in research, however is to come into a situation with a predetermined answer to the question. You have no doubt heard: “Don’t confuse me with the facts, I understand the issue and my mind is already made up.” or ‘There are three types of lies – lies, damn lies, and statistics.’ or “Figures do not lie, but liars do figure.” At New Perspectives, we are always very careful to let the facts we have uncovered speak for themselves first and then develop our perspectives based on the data.
What is the difference between Quantitative and Qualitative Research? – That ones “relatively” easy. Quantitative is nearly always based on a large sample size as described above, and researchers can point to statistically valid data to support their conclusions. Qualitative is typically based on smaller sample sizes and inferences are made from observations and non structured techniques.
Please contact us with your questions on modern quantitative research methods. We are New Perspectives, and we are passionate about providing fact based research to help our clients achieve a competitive advantage.