Qualitative & Quantitative Marketing Research: Data Collection & Analysis

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  • 0:04 Quantitative vs. Qualitative
  • 0:42 How Qualitative Research Works
  • 1:45 How Quantitative…
  • 2:15 Commonalities
  • 3:23 Combining the Two Methods
  • 3:52 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: David Whitsett

David has taught computer applications, computer fundamentals, computer networking, and marketing at the college level. He has a MBA in marketing.

Quantitative and qualitative market research are like siblings - similar but still different. In this lesson, we'll compare the two research types when it comes to data collection and analysis.

Quantitative vs. Qualitative

Market research gives us information about the wants and needs of our customers. Sometimes, we ask them to give us their thoughts and feelings. Sometimes, we ask them to rate things on a scale from 1 to 10. Questions that ask about opinions and the like are considered qualitative research. The questions that result in a numeric answer, like rating something on a scale or counting something, are considered quantitative research. With two different types of questions, the way we collect and process the data for qualitative and quantitative research has to be different, too.

How Qualitative Research Works

How do you collect qualitative data? Here are some common methods:

  • Face-to-face interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Surveys
  • Case studies
  • Longitudinal studies
  • Observations and field experiments

In all of these scenarios, participants are asked open-ended questions, or notes are made of discussions or observations. The point is that we're dealing with lots of words, which don't lend themselves well to counting or statistical analysis. The solution: coding. Coding is a method where frequently used words, themes, or patterns from respondents are assigned an alphanumeric code or symbol. For example, someone reads the transcript from an interview, looks for patterns, and writes codes in the margins.

Once a document is coded, then the data can be inputted into a spreadsheet or some other statistical analysis software tool. At that point, the data is more like quantitative information, and mathematics can be applied to gain insights.

How Quantitative Research Works

Some data-gathering methods are the same for quantitative research as they are for qualitative research. Surveys, interviews, and experiments are used, but there is a difference in the application. Survey respondents are typically asked closed-ended questions (yes or no answers) or to rate something on a scale. Because the data collection process is simpler than dealing with numbers versus words, quantitative surveys can be done online and can be given to larger groups.

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