Quantitative research is a structured way of collecting and analyzing data obtained from different sources. Quantitative research involves the use of computational, statistical, and mathematical tools to derive results. It is conclusive in its purpose as it tries to quantify the problem and understand how prevalent it is by looking for projectable results to a larger population.
On the other hand, qualitative research is generally more explorative, a type of research that is dependent on the collection of verbal, behavioral or observational data that can be interpreted in a subjective manner. It has a wide scope and is typically used to explore the causes of potential problems that may exist. Qualitative research typically provides insights on several aspects of a marketing problem. It often either precede or be conducted after quantitative research, depending on the study’s objectives.
Companies who use quantitative research rather than qualitative are typically looking to measure extent and looking for statistical results that are interpreted objectively. While the results of qualitative research can vary according to the skills of observer, the results of quantitative research are interpreted in an almost similar manner by all experts.
Both types of research vary widely in not only their results, but all other aspects as well. While qualitative data provides a subjective overview of marketing problems, quantitative defines a structured cause-and-effect relationship between the problem and factors.
One of the major differences in the two types of researches is the difference in the data collection method. Data collection is one of the most important aspects of the quantitative research process. Data collection involves having the researcher to prepare and obtain the required information from the target audience.
Data preparation includes determining the objective of data collection, methods of obtaining information, and the sequence of data collection activities. One of the most important aspect in this process is selecting the right sample for data collection. The data is then carefully collected from only those people who are most relevant to the objectives of the study. Known as a target segment, this sample is a group of people who are similar across a variety of variables.
The data collection tools for a quantitative research are surveys and experiments. Experiments can provide specific results regarding the cause-and-effect relationship of several independent or interdependent factors related to a particular problem.
The most common approach to doing quantitative market research is a survey or questionnaire. Surveys can include interviews, which can be carried out using several different methodologies including face-to-face, telephone, online or computer assisted interviews.