Lisa studies
Welcome to the second instalment of Mary’s researching for non researchers series. This week Mary explores the varieties of research available to an intrepid newbie researcher:  

Types of research

There are two primary types of research often defined: qualitative and quantitative.

Qualitative research designs are ones that try to examine the underlining meaning or cause of phenomenon and various issues. Designs include interviews, of which there are a 4 types, focus groups, world café’s, discourse analysis, and semiotics.

On the other hand, quantitative research designs are those that provide numerical responses to research questions. For example, from a quantitative design you might infer what percentage of people think initiative x is a good idea, but not know why they feel this way That said, some quantitative designs such as surveys, can include a qualitative element that helps provide a more meaningful answer.

Why choose one over the other?

If you have the time and resources,  It’s like the old el paso ad suggests, “why not have both?”  However, we’re not always blessed with time and/or resources and as such are required to make choice. If you are in this position you need to consider:

a)    Quantitative designs are quick to administer and cheap to produce, but they can’t allow researchers to discover why a phenomenon is occurring, only that it is.

b)   Although qualitative designs provided a layered, in-depth insight into the phenomenon in question, they can be very costly and time consuming.

Inferential Analysis

How are you analyzing the data? This is inferred in the research question. That is, will you do a regression analysis, one-way ANOVA, correlation etc…

Evaluation and Integration of the findings

After completing all of your data collection and analysis, you need to write it up. We will touch on this step later in the blog series.

That’s it from the lady for this week! Tune in next week for an action packed blog post on the research considerations that surround ethics and sampling. 
Happy trails 
– The Dialogue Consulting team


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