Qualitative vs Quantitative Research
Qualitative Research describes exploratory research which entails the analysis of data such as pictures, objects, and words. Qualitative research entails critical scrutiny to understand the underlying opinions, reasons, and motivations. The use of qualitative research develops a hypothesis that stimulates the use of quantitative research as it gives insights into a particular problem. The enactment of quantitative research aims to dive deeper into a problem. Therefore, the effective enactment of the analysis method entails the use of semi-structured and unstructured techniques such as using focus groups, incorporating participations and observations, and individual interviews. Qualitative research entails using a small sample size to stipulate effective attainment of key and accurate results.
Qualitative analysis may involve conducting interviews, watching recordings, and observing behaviours and trends. The qualitative analysis looks at the quality and thus insists on detailed research. The qualitative analysis primarily focuses on exploring the meanings behind people’s cultures, experiences, and specific issues in the study. Therefore, the qualitative analysis looks at the meanings of case studies and thus incorporate the attitudes of the study participants. Qualitative research entails question that aims to discover or explore and thus mainly respond to the inquiries of what and how. They try to uncover the story behind a certain theory, and thus they develop on a hypothesis and gather sufficient information before coming up with a conclusion.
The qualitative analysis aims to explore rather than predicting since it is exploratory in nature. It is imperative to collect more than one kind of data to get satisfactory results for the study. The qualitative research entails the use of words, and thus data can be collected from interviews, observations, documents, and audio-visual materials. The research aims to get numerous kinds of these materials to sufficiently answer the research question and strengthen the quality of the study. Therefore, the study results are generated from the field, and thus the researchers go to the fields and use instruments such as surveys and questionnaires. The study method may change during the study to improve the results and ensure the results are effective. Therefore, the methods of the evaluation may change to improve its efficiency.
The qualitative analysis aims to create a theme and thus look at interviews, questionnaires and other data results and generate themes. Qualitative analysis may take a long period since the results incorporate a wide range of people. This research method is inductive, and thus the analysis or research question is not primarily outlined prior to the study, but the theme is generated depending on the results. Therefore, the researcher presents an argument after the study.
The final report of the qualitative analysis is presented in a narrative form and thus driven to create an image of the study. The research is interpretive and entails numerous writings and direct quotes from the participants. The study aims to comprehensively outline all the study facts and ensure that anyone who reads the study understands the essence of the research. In the qualitative analysis, the phenomenon may be unknown prior to the investigation, but the end result should effectively present the phenomenon driven by the analysis results. The qualitative research comes up with results which can be applied past the immediate boundaries of the evaluation (Qualitative Research Methods Overview, 2018). Therefore, the study presents key results and then creates a theme based on these findings.
Qualitative research may enact numerous methods such as ethnography, narrative, phenomenological, grounded theory, and case study. These distinct methods may entail a detailed look at focus groups, observations, and in-depth interviews. Ethnography method entails a crucial incentive that improves the study quality. The method entails participant observation which describes a situation where is it imperative to collect data on behaviours which are naturally occurring in their typical contexts (Qualitative Research Methods Overview, 2018). Ethnography method entails the researcher taking an extensive journey into the environment of the target participants. The research aims to understand the cultures, goals, themes, and motivations of the participants. This method picks from cultural anthropology as the researcher immerse themselves in distinct cultures for a long period primarily driven towards attaining quality results (Sauro, 2015). Therefore, this approach ensures that the researcher gets a first-hand experience about the environment and can even be the participant-observer.
The second key qualitative research method is a narrative. The narrative approach brings together a diverse range of events that grow in a sequence to develop a cohesive story. The method insists on the need to conduct in-depth interviews, go through numerous documents, and search for themes. The narrative approach requires a lot of time before coming up with the final report. The interviews can take weeks, months, or even years. However, the final results may not be in chronological order and simply entails a story with a theme that effectively outlines the study results, reconciles the conflicting narrations, and outlining the challenges of the study. The use of a narration approach aims to offer a comprehensive overview of the study and present key results and what they mean to the people. The narration incorporates key details and a comprehensive approach to overcome any inconveniences.
Finally, the enactment of the case study approach can be crucial to the comprehensive incorporation of qualitative research. The use of this method may incorporate documents, reports, interviews, and observations. Case studies can be used by companies, entities, organizations, or they can be used to describe events. A case study entails going through numerous types of data sources and understanding what they mean. These studies can be exploratory, explanatory, or describing an event (Sauro, 2015). Case studies look at distinct areas and try to connect them by offering distinctive meanings. A case study looks at different elements of evaluation and tries to make sense of the data results. The other data methods, grounded theory, and phenomenology are also highly effective in qualitative research as the former may incorporate face to face interviews and key interactions while the latter tries to understand how people experience their world (Sutton & Austin, 2015). Therefore, the distinct methods of qualitative analysis are primarily aimed to improve the study results.
The two distinct types of research differ in a lot of ways beginning with how they are driven; qualitative research entails an evaluation of numerical data while quantitative research deals with pictures, words, or objects (Waller, 2011). The research methods have distinctive approaches to gathering and analyzing data and can be driven by distinct purposes. These differences can be outlined in the fact that qualitative research looks at words while quantitative looks at numbers. The distinctions in approaches can be seen in that qualitative research entails the use of interviews and observations among other collection methods while quantitative research entails looking at numbers. Qualitative research primarily focuses on developing holistic description while the quantitative research may look at particular aspects and extensively focus on proving this specific aspect.
Qualitative research begins with an unknown phenomenon and thus creates themes at the end of the study. In contrast, quantitative research entails working with a known phenomenon or hypothesis, and thus the study aims to prove this outlined subject. Therefore, the two methods differ in that one works to prove an outlined fact while the other aims to gather information before outlining the study report. Therefore, qualitative analysis aims to discover the aspect of the phenomenon. It further discovers the design as the scrutiny goes on while the contrasting analysis method of quantitative research has a specified design prior to the research.
The purpose of the qualitative analysis is to understand the meanings of people’s beliefs, case studies, and experiences while quantitative analysis looks at the relationships between variables (Flipp, 2014). Therefore, the two methods differ in their purpose and thus develop diverse strategies to go through their research. In relation to the outlined argument, qualitative analysis lacks a hypothesis since it is exploratory. It tries to explore rather than predicting. However, quantitative analysis develops on a hypothesis and mainly aims to predict what the study will imperatively achieve.
Qualitative analysis collects data from the field over a long period. The study enacts surveys and questionnaires and depends on the natural environment. The study method can change through the study due to changes in the expectations of the research. However, quantitative analysis profoundly differs as the data comes from numbers and the study takes place in a laboratory. The researchers do not go out to the field to pick numerous data but rather work from their workplaces to prove their hypothesis. The research entails specific designs and thus do not change progressively. The analysis enacts statistics while qualitative analysis deals with themes. Quantitative analysis is deductive and deals with data that is already out there and thus try to prove it or strengthen it while qualitative research is inductive and tries to come up with themes with the study.
The two research methodologies differ in numerous ways:
- Quantitative research entails a deductive theory which incorporates testing of theory while qualitative research entails an inductive theory of generating a theory.
- They differ in orientation as the qualitative analysis incorporates an aspect of constructionism while quantitative analysis embraces objectivism (Salvador, 2016). The latter develops on available data while the former constructs theories during the evaluation process.
- The axiological orientation of the qualitative research values subjectivity and values while that of quantitative analysis seek for objectivity and thus values and biases are kept in check.
- They differ in the strategies encompassed in the study as quantitative analysis depends on surveys and experiments while qualitative analysis depends on ethnography, narratives, grounded theory, case studies, and phenomenology.
- Finally, quantitative analysis may use methods such as numerical data, fixed approaches, and close-ended questions while qualitative data looks at developing and emerging trends, open-ended questions, and text or image data.
Flipp, C. (2014, January 15). Qualitative vs. Quantitative. Retrieved from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2X-QSU6-hPU
Qualitative Research Methods Overview. (2018). Qualitative Research Methods: A Data Collector’s Field Guide, 2-13. Retrieved from https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=11&ved=2ahUKEwiR9o6kps7eAhVL1hoKHQNPCt4QFjAKegQICBAC&url=https%3A%2F%2Fcourse.ccs.neu.edu%2Fis4800sp12%2Fresources%2Fqualmethods.pdf&usg=AOvVaw1IZejuIFfIq0yGY5LwltE4
Salvador, J. T. (2016). Exploring Quantitative and Qualitative Methodologies: A Guide to Novice Nursing Researchers. European Scientific Journal, 12(18), 107-121.
Sauro, J. (2015, October 13). 5 Types of Qualitative Methods. Retrieved from Measuring You: https://measuringu.com/qual-methods/
Sutton, J., & Austin, Z. (2015). Qualitative Research: Data Collection, Analysis, and Management. The Canadian Journal of Hospital Pharmacy, 68(3), 226-231.
Waller, L. R. (2011, August 20). RESEARCH 1 – 5 – Differences in Quantitative and Qualitative Research. Retrieved from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxFuw22bPnE