Discussion post objective:
Describe in detail the difference between quantitative and qualitative approaches in a research project and provide an example for each. Which do you find more challenging and why? Support your post with information and concepts from the class readings. Use APA-style citations and references to support your discussion.
Replies Substantive peer responses ask a thoughtful question pertaining to the topic and/or answers a question (in detail) posted by another student or the instructor:
Although qualitative and quantitative research approaches look to increase our knowledge and understanding of our world, each method is very different in how they conducted. According to Olejnik (2021), qualitative research is a process of collecting and analyzing non-numeric data. Examples of this type of data include interviews, video and photos. This type of data is referred to as unstructured.
Where qualitative research works with unstructured data, quantitative research methods focus on structured data sets. An example of a standard quantitative data set would include records of information stored in a database and organized by fields denoting information such as measurements, time and/or location.
One example of qualitative research could be explained through efforts conducted for market research. Keegan (2009) explains that marketing research is conducted to ask questions such as what, why and how in lieu of how many and how much. In other words, this approach is looking to gain an understanding as why persons or groups think and/or behave.
An example of quantitative research would look at the cause and effect of price changes on retail products. More specifically, data collected on sold products pre and post-sale prices would provide valuable information as to whether sales are financially beneficial.
Both methods of research are valid and of course have their respective places in increasing knowledge. Although I find quantitative methods of research more suited to my capabilities (mostly a result of my work history) I am finding a pressing need to gain strength in the qualitative research world as unstructured data becomes a seemingly stronger presence daily due to social media and content generated by the flood of smart phones.
Keegan, S. (2009). Qualitative Researchâ€¯: Good Decision Making Through Understanding People, Cultures and Markets. Kogan Page.
Olejnik, I. (ed.). (2021). Qualitative and Quantitative Methods in Sustainable Development. PoznaÅ„ University of Economics and Business.
2. Research methodologies set up your research project for success and your best chance at having your thoughts and ideas considered valid, for when a non-optimal, or completely wrong, methodology roadmap is chosen, it can be impossible to answer the questions you set out to originally investigate and offer insights to. This proves the need for identifying the type of question you are answering: one of qualitative or quantitative nature? Oâ€™Leary (2021) breaks the difference down to whether the research questions are answered through perceptible information or behavior analysis, requiring a qualitative approach, or if the questions can be answered through a statistical, or quantitative, approach needing hypothesis testing of data trends and relationships.
A quantitative approach to research is one most are more familiar with because it aims at understanding data that has been altered to fit a numerical state, and follows set guidelines, expressed as a method, that provide a logical roadmap for producing a valid and logical discovery from a dataset. The method most are familiar with is the scientific method which expresses this roadmap as the making of observations, asking questions, producing hypotheses, collecting data to answer these hypotheses, and the experimentation that will give or lack support for your hypotheses. Coming from a background in statistics and engineering, I have found that most questions or problems I have at work or school can be solved quantitatively. In particular, my current job encompasses many responsibilities related to consumer, real estate, and market analytics which require numerical data in order to produce predictive models that will help our clients make more informed decisions (Oâ€™Leary, 2021).
I am incredibly unfamiliar with qualitative approaches to research and didnâ€™t understand it well the few times I read through examples in the text and online. From what I gathered, it gives the ability to understand the why and how of natural actions, which must be flexible and iterative in order to capture the most behavioral and language data; it is an incredibly subjective approach. The lack of structure and stability makes it incredibly difficult to represent, as well as to reduce bias or error in your analysis (The FullStory Education Team, 2021).
Oâ€™Leary, Z. (2021). The essential guide to doing your research project (4th ed.). Sage Publishing.
The FullStory Education Team. (2021). Qualitative vs. quantitative data: What’s the difference? and why they’re so valuable. FullStory. Retrieved May 27, 2022, from https://www.fullstory.com/blog/qualitative-vs-quantitative-data/
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