Many people do not understand the value of qualitative research. Qualitative research is exploratory in nature and entails looking in-depth into phenomena with the main aim of gaining insights about the underlying opinions, reasons and motivations. Qualitative research provides the researcher with important information that can be used to formulate the research hypothesis or questions. The knowledge gained from this type of study can be used to mount quantitative research. Qualitative research entails in-depth interviews, focus groups, individual interviews and observation. Unlike quantitative research, qualitative research does not have figures. This article explores the benefits and types of qualitative techniques.
Benefits of Qualitative Research:
1. Tells us the how, why and what the specific research objects means to the respondents- This method can be used alongside quantitative research when the latter does not offer us a deep insight into a research subject. It goes deeper beyond figures to tell us what that statistical information means to the respondents. Quantitative research can be viewed as a skeleton while qualitative one can be regarded as flesh that fills the frame.
2. Rigorous-Unlike quantitative research, the rigour in qualitative research is high. You can use in-depth interviews to ensure that all the important issues are discussed. The analysis of qualitative research data can begin immediately after the interview by using various themes, sub-themes, and perspectives. In subsequent interviews, the researcher can amend the themes and perspectives to get more ideas about the research phenomena.
3. Synergetic-Respondents can create synergy by building on each other’s views. This makes the researcher get a lot of valuable information. There is also active group discussion compared to just filling in questionnaires with multiple choice questions.
4. Descriptive-Unlike quantitative research where you get predictive data, qualitative data provides you with descriptive information. This information is important for a company because you can use it to design products or services as per client needs.
5. Non-verbal cues of communication-The non-verbal forms of communication are important when you want to measure the attitude and behaviour of consumers. Qualitative research allows you to get a feeling of people’s behaviours and attitudes through their use of non-verbal cues of communication.
6. Projective techniques-when you want to get those feelings and motivations that are deeper than rational consciousness, you apply projective techniques. Qualitative research allows you to apply these techniques which help you gain an understanding of why people choose certain brands.
Types of Qualitative Research:
• Ethnography-The researcher immerses themselves in a research setting. The researcher may observe what is happening or getting involved in talking to people. The researcher takes notes from which ideas are generated. Ethnography can be combined with other methods for triangulation purposes.
• Qualitative interviewing
• Focus Groups
• Action research
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