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Home Blog Different Types of Research Methodologies Qualitative vs Quantitative Research

Qualitative Vs Quantitative Research - What's The Difference

Qualitative Vs Quantitative Research - What's The Difference

Qualitative and quantitative research are two of the main types of research that are implied to research and gather relevant information.

1. What is Quantitative Research?

Quantitative research design is focused more on quantity. The gathered information is presented in the form of numbers, statistical analysis and hard cold facts.

It is the systematic investigation of a particular phenomenon by collecting quantifiable data and performing mathematical techniques on it.

1.1 Quantitative Research Definition

This type of research is focused on monitoring and analyzing statistical values and different types of data. That can be the values in research surveys, questionnaires etc.

In this type of research method, researchers deploy mathematical frameworks to the collected data quantity under question.

1.2 Types of Quantitative Research

Just like qualitative research, quantitative research also has a number of types that you can use for different kinds of research. Key quantitative research types include:

Survey Research

Survey research focuses on utilizing interviews, questionnaires and polls of research questions to get near accurate results related to behaviors. And how the subjects work and behave under specific circumstances. There are a number of ways to conduct a survey type of quantitative research. This may include interview over the telephone, via mail or chat.

Correlation Research

Correlation research tests and analyses the relationship between two variables and how they affect each other. This type of quantitative research is conducted to understand an occurrence. Also, the causes of it having relationship with another available factors and elements. 

Experimental Research

It is the basis for many research and is generally carried out with the help of a hypotheses. It could either be a single statement or multiple statements. 

2. What is Qualitative Research?

Qualitative research is more towards presenting the researched data in detail by introducing reviews, interviews and opinions into the research report.

The qualitative research method is more focused on statistics and results obtained through numerical data, surveys and devices that are used in the research.

2.1 Qualitative Research Definition

It involves presenting ideas and themes in an in-depth and detailed manner. Supporting evidence is collected from literature reviews, in-depth interviewing and other material. 

2.2 Types of Qualitative Research

You should know about the different kinds of researches that are their part and could be added in the research model. Following are some of the qualitative research methods:

Ethnographic Model

The goal is to discover and learn the features of the culture. How it affects the participants and driving force, motivation, that keeps it going. Another example is testing the product personally or running a test before final launch.

Grounded Theory Method

Grounded theory method includes designing of theories through gathering and analysis of data that is available in certain subject or topic. The type of qualitative research is different from other modes of research. It starts with the existing data and moves forward to frame new concept.

Case Study Model

Case study research model focuses on one target or subject and study it as a whole. Data related to the subject and topic is collected through various online and offline resources for writing a case study. That includes interviews, relevant literature review and theories and concepts that are used in conjunction to understand and analyze the data.

3. Difference Between Qualitative and Quantitative Research

Qualitative and quantitative research differ from each other through a number of ways and elements. If you are wondering about the ways both the types are separate from each other, please move further.

3.1 Area of Research

By definition, qualitative research is based on literature, case studies, reviews and reports and theories. Whereas, quantitative research is about quantities. Quantitative research monitors, evaluates and saves data in statistical report, based on numbers and findings.

3.2 Collection of Data

Qualitative and quantitative data collection methods are also different. Qualitative research collects data through extremely flexible or, sometimes, unstructured or semi structured methods. They include interviews, focus groups or group discussions, observations, case studies, expert opinions, open ended surveys, observations etc.

Quantitative research uses highly structured methods including surveys, observations, interviews, questionnaires, telephonic interviews and other methods of research. The qualitative research allows the participants to express their opinions in a detailed manner. Quantitative research limit this by just allowing to-the-point answers and options.

3.3 Research Outcomes

Qualitative research allows for a more in-depth, detail oriented and, in many cases, accurate results. Since the respondents could add their own expressions and views into the responses. Quantitative research provides wider insight by giving targeted results that could be understood and scanned in less time.

3.4 Selection of Sample

Sample selection method differs in case of qualitative and quantitative research. In qualitative research, the research sample is a small that is chosen through a preset criterion. Quantitative research includes large sample sizes that is expected to represent the population of research interest.

3.5 Data Analysis Method

Qualitative and quantitative research have different methods of data analysis. In quantitative research, the data is collected. Then analyzed in the form of statistics and tabular forms and spreadsheets and the results are mostly conclusive and decisive.

Qualitative research data is collected and analyzed qualitatively using solid material. For example interviews, recorded reviews and experiment tapes and detailed questionnaires to extract the required results.

4. Comparison Chart

While qualitative research is based on written and spoken narratives, quantitative research is based on numbers and calculations.

Following is the comparison chart to clearly understand how these two are similar and different to each other.

Comparison Based on 

Qualitative Research 

Quantitative Research 

Purpose 

Is to explain the rich and insight understanding of a particular phenomenon

Is to explain, predict and control a phenomenon 

Hypotheses 

Based on particular study 

Prior to particular study 

Sampling 

Purposive 

Random 

Design and Method

Flexible and generally specified 

Inflexible and specified in detail 

Data Analysis 

Raw data is in words

Raw data is in numbers 

Qualitative vs. quantitative research has always been a hot topic. Researchers and students are in search of the research method that benefits their work the best. Qualitative and quantitative research are also used for research projects that involve both the description and statistical parts.

Still having difficulty understanding which type would be best for your research?

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