Qualitative Vs Quantitative Research-Which one is the best Choice

qualitative vs quantitative research

Qualitative and quantitative research is one of the most commonly used types of research. Both have their own characteristics and advantages.

Each type is designed for different types of research involving different data sets and research goals.

Both research types have different analysis and data collection methods. Each research type has its own domains where it can give the best results.

For example, qualitative research can be an ideal research method in the discipline of social sciences. While quantitative research may prove beneficial in scientific research.

Choosing any of the research types will always depend on the following factors:

  • your topic of research
  • the domain of your study
  • type of data you require

The choice can also be get affected by constraints like time, sample size, and required finances.

Following is an insightful comparison of both the research types to help you choose the best one for your assignment.

What is Qualitative Research?

Qualitative research is an exploratory research type that aims to explore unexplored facts and discover the underlying reasons. It is also used to understand and uncover patterns of people’s opinions and motivations. There are different types of qualitative research that you can employ.

Qualitative research digs deep into the problem and provides insights into the problems. The results obtained through quantitative research could be analyzed more thoroughly through qualitative research.

Qualitative Data Collection Methods

Following are some qualitative research methods used to collect data and derive results.

Focus Groups This method involves discussion with small groups of people and knowing their opinion on certain topics or products.
Individual Interviews This method involves deep and comprehensive one-to-one discussion.
Expert Opinions As the name shows, the method engages experts and well-informed sources to get valid and high-quality information.
Case Studies Case studies involve the collection of people’s experiences through in-depth interviews.
Open-Ended Survey Questions Survey forms with open-ended questions are used to record respondents’ opinions on certain subjects or products
Observational Research This method records the behavioral patterns of people in their routine lives. For example, observing a group of people interacting with a specific device.

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What is Quantitative Research?

Quantitative research quantifies the research problem by generating data that is numerical in nature or can be transformed into potential statistics. It uses large population samples to obtain results.

This research method quantifies the sample population’s behaviors and other defined research variables and gives generalized results.

Quantitative research methods use measurable data to develop facts and uncover the research patterns. These methods use statistical analysis techniques to draw results.

Quantitative Data Collection Methods

Quantitative research methods are more structured than qualitative ones. Following is a quick overview of qualitative research methods.

Surveys

While conducting quantitative research, researchers use different types of surveys.

These surveys include paper surveys, online surveys, kiosk surveys, and mobile surveys to collect relevant data.

Experiments

Experiments are one of the data collection methods in quantitative research. In this method, researchers observe the effect of change in one variable on another.

This method will let you discover the causal relationships between the variables that an observational study cannot.

Interviews

Interviews are used to collect data from a small sample population on a broad range of topics. These interviews can be structured and unstructured.

Structured interviews make use of questionnaires with different research questions and multiple choice answers.

Systematic Observations

Systematic observation is an objective, well-structured data collection method. It is used for the precise examination of behavioral patterns to obtain reliable results.

These results are free from the bias of the observer's interpretation. This method ensures that, under similar circumstances, all observers record the same results.

Website Interceptors

Website interceptors are online web surveys. They allow the researchers to target visitors to understand their behavior.

These surveys record users’ feedback to evaluate their online experience.

Longitudinal Studies

In longitudinal studies, researchers examine the same sample over and over again to observe any possible changes over time.

This research method is used to observe and collect data on multiple variables without influencing the variables.

Online Polls

Online polls are becoming one of the popular data collection methods. In this method, the researcher creates a poll against the research question and records the response of the sample population.

Polls collect data against one question so their responses are easy to analyze.

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Qualitative vs Quantitative Research?

Following are some major differences between qualitative and quantitative research. These key differences will help you which research methodology will be best for your research project.

Nature
Qualitative research is holistic in nature whereas quantitative research is particularistic in nature.
Approach
Qualitative research uses a subjective approach to solving a problem or developing hypotheses. Whereas quantitative research adopts an objective approach.
Research Type
Qualitative research belongs to exploratory research whereas quantitative research is defined as conclusive research.
Reasoning Methods
The reasoning method used in qualitative research is based on induction. Whereas quantitative research uses the deductive method of reasoning.
Sampling Methods
Qualitative research uses a purposive sampling method. Whereas quantitative research uses random sampling methods to get numeric data.
Data Obtained
Data obtained through qualitative research is verbal and descriptive qualitative data. Whereas quantitative research gives measurable and analyzed quantitative data.
Inquiry Mechanism
Qualitative research makes use of process-oriented inquiry mechanisms. Whereas quantitative research uses result-oriented inquiry processes.
Hypothesis
Qualitative research develops and creates a hypothesis. Whereas qualitative research tests the existing hypothesis.
Elements of Analysis
Qualitative research analyzes pictures, words, and objects. Whereas quantitative research analyzes qualitative and numeric data.
Research Objectives
Qualitative research is aimed to discover and explore the ideas and existing processes. Whereas qualitative research focuses on the cause and effect relationship between variables.
Results
Qualitative research provides hypotheses that help to develop an initial understanding. Whereas quantitative research provides final solutions and course of action.

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Qualitative vs. Quantitative Research Pros and Cons

Following are the pros and cons of qualitative and quantitative research.

Qualitative Research Quantitative Research

Pros

  • Provides a strong basis at the initial stages of research.
  • Does not require a complex research design.
  • Collects and process detailed data.
  • More involved in real-time data.

Cons

  • Presents a subjective view of the research
  • The analysis in the research involves human bias
  • Takes a long time to complete and give any substantial results.

Pros

  • Provides good structures for measuring and interpreting data.
  • The nature of the findings is objective and implementable.
  • An in-depth analysis of the relationship of independent and dependent variables.
  • Process and gives statistical data.

Cons

  • Focuses more on the variables under study.
  • Needs proper strategies for implementation.
  • Can not process the vague information.

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Qualitative vs Quantitative Research Which is Better?

This is one of the most asked questions among the qualitative vs quantitative research questions. Students and amateur researchers are often confused about the choice.

Logically speaking, these research types are not contradictory but infact they are complementary. In large-scale research projects, qualitative research proves to be a gateway to quantitative research.

Hypotheses deduced from qualitative research build a foundation for quantitative research. Qualitative research gathers real-time information and presents it for further processing to derive substantial results.

But if you are a student and have been assigned a research assignment with limited scope, you can make a choice between these two types. For this choice, you need to explore and understand your topic well.

Understand the nature of the research question. Discover every perspective of the subject under study.

This detailed analysis and exploration will help you how to best process your topic. If the answer to your research question is required to be descriptive and textual, qualitative research would be the best choice.

But if your question is asking about numbers and percentages, quantitative research type will best answer your research question. So instead of thinking that which research type is best, evaluate your research topic against the information provided in the blog.

Figure out the requirements of your research topic. Then decide which research type will best suit to answer your research question.

Qualitative Vs Quantitative Research Marketing

Along with academia and science, qualitative vs quantitative research marketing is becoming a popular marketing strategy. Businesses are getting great benefits from the hybrid implementation of both research types.

From predicting the upcoming trends to exploring the consumer’s behavioral patterns. These research types are helping business strategists to formulate strategies that can make businesses grow tremendously.

Hope the above blog has helped you understand both the research types well. What are the characteristics of both types? How do they differ from each other and how can they complement each other?

The method presented to choose the best type for your research project will also help you make an effective choice.

But if you are still confused and unable to decide which research type will suit your project mot. Do not hesitate to reach our expert essay writer to get your answers. You can also contact us to avail our best writing services.