What is Quantitative Research?

Quantitative Research Definition: Quantitative research, in marketing, is a stimulating and highly educational technique to gather information from existing and potential customers using sampling methods and sending out online surveys, online polls, questionnaires etc.,the results of which can be analyzed using statistical methods. Results produced using quantitative research are usually numerical and after careful understanding of these numbers to predict the future of a product or service and make changes accordingly.

Usually used in natural and social sciences, mathematical, statistical and computational methods are adopted to methodically conduct quantitative research. In quantitative research, researchers and statisticians deploy mathematical frameworks and theories that pertain to the quantity under question.

Quantitative research templates are objective, elaborate and many a times, investigational in nature. The results achieved from this research method are logical, statistical and unbiased. Data collection happens using a structured method and conducted on larger samples which represent the entire population.  

Learn more: Quantitative Market Research

Quantitative Research Methods with Examples

The types of quantitative research are classified on the basis of data collection sources. As mentioned earlier, this research method is highly numerical and the results are in form of “data”. The analysis of this data is numerical and so the data collection is also done in form of numbers. Using statistical analysis, researchers conduct an analysis of data which is why quantitative research is closely linked with statistics.

There are four different types of quantitative research methods:

1. Survey Research:

Survey Research is a quantitative research method used to ask questions to a sample of respondents using sources such as online polls, surveys, questionnaires via Email, Social Media or embedding on a website. Every small and big organization intends to understand what their customers think about their products and services, how well are new features faring in the market and other such details.

By conducting survey research, an organization can ask multiple survey questions, collect data from a pool of customers and analyze this collected data to produce numerical results. It is the first step towards collecting data for any research.

This type of research can be conducted with a specific target audience group and also can be conducted across multiple groups along with comparative analysis. A prerequisite for this type of research is that the sample of respondents must have randomly selected members. This way, a researcher can easily maintain the accuracy of the obtained results as a huge variety of respondents will be addressed using random selection. Traditionally, survey research was conducted face-to-face or via phone calls but with the progress made by online mediums such as email or social media, survey research has spread to online mediums as well.

Example of Survey Research Questions:

    • How was your experience with our customer care executive?
    • What are your thoughts on our current website?
    • Participate in this survey to win 100 Amazon gift points.

2. Correlational Research:

Comparison between two entities is invariable. Correlation research is conducted to establish a relationship between two closely knit entities and how one impacts the other and what are the changes that are eventually observed. This research method is carried out to give value to naturally occurring relationships and a minimum of two different groups are required to successfully conduct this quantitative research method. Without assuming different aspects, a relationship between two groups or entities must be established.

Researchers use this quantitative research method to correlate two or more variables using mathematical analysis methods. Patterns, relationships, and trends between variables are concluded as they exist in their natural set up. The impact of one of these variables on the other is observed along with how it changes the relationship between the two variables. Researchers tend to manipulate one of the variables to attain the desired results.

Ideally, it is advised to not make conclusions merely on the basis of correlational research. This is because it is not mandatory that if two variables are in sync that they are interrelated.

Example of Correlational Research Questions:

    • The relationship between stress and depression.
    • The equation between fame and money.
    • The relation between activities in a third-grade class and its students.

3. Causal-Comparative Research:

This research method mainly depends on the factor of comparison. Also called the quasi-experimental research, this quantitative research method is used by researchers to draw conclusions about cause-effect equation between two or more variables, where one variable is dependent on the other independent variable. The independent variable is established but not manipulated and its impact on the dependent variable is observed. These variables or groups must be formed as they exist in the natural set up. As the dependent and independent variables will always exist in a group, it is advised that the conclusions are carefully established by keeping all the factors in mind.

Causal-comparative research is not restricted to the statistical analysis of two variables but extends to analyzing how various variables or groups change under the influence of the same changes. This research is conducted irrespective of the type of relation that exists between two or more variables. Statistical analysis is used to distinctly present the outcome of obtained using this quantitative research method.

Example of Causal-Comparative Research Questions:

    • The impact of drugs on a teenager.
    • The effect of good education on a freshman.
    • The effect of substantial food provision in the villages of Africa.

4. Experimental Research: Also known as true experimentation, this research method is reliant on a theory. Experimental research, as the name suggests, is usually based on one or more theories. This theory has not be proved in the past and is merely a supposition. In an experimental research, an analysis is done around proving or disproving the statement. This research method is used in natural sciences.

There can be multiple theories in experimental research. A theory is a statement which can be verified or refuted.

After establishing the statement, efforts are made to understand whether it is valid or invalid. This type of quantitative research method is mainly used in natural or social sciences as there are various statements which need to be proved right or wrong.  

    • Traditional research methods are more effective than modern techniques.
    • Systematic teaching schedules help children who find it hard to cope up with the course.
    • It is a boon to have responsible nursing staff for ailing parents.

Quantitative Research Characteristics

  • Structured tools such as surveys, polls or questionnaires are used to gather quantitative data.
  • Research is conducted on a significant sample size that represents the target market.
  • The results are highly dependable and can be easily duplicated or repeated.
  • Closed-ended questions are created in accordance with the objective of research.
  • Various factors related to the research topic are studied before collecting feedback from respondents.
  • Usually, quantitative data are represented by tables, charts, graphs or any other non-numerical form.
  • Results of this research method can be generalized to an entire population to take appropriate actions for improvement.

How to analyze results received from Quantitative Research Method?

  • Relate the results to the objective of research and establish the statistical relevance of results.
  • Consider aspects of research which were not considered for the data collection process. Report the difference between what was planned vs. what was actually executed. Discuss whether the missing data would bring the research down or not.
  • Select precise statistical analysis method such as SWOT, Conjoint, Cross-tabulation etc. which will produce desired results.
  • Inferential statistics methods such as confidence interval, margin of error etc. should be used to provide results.
  • Data presented in tables will be easier to explain and impactful in conveying numerical results.
  • What to expect from the results of quantitative research should be made clear to the readers.

Advantages of Quantitative Research

Collect reliable and accurate data: As data is collected, analyzed and presented in numbers, the results obtained will be extremely reliable. Numbers do not lie. They present an honest picture of the conducted research without discrepancies and is also extremely accurate. In situations where a researcher predicts conflict, quantitative research is conducted.

Quick data collection: A quantitative research is carried out with a group of respondents who represent a population. A survey or any other quantitative research method applied to these respondents and the involvement of statistics, conducting and analyzing results is quite straightforward and less time-consuming.

Wider scope of data analysis: Due to the statistics, this research method provides a wide scope of data collection.

Eliminate bias: This research method offers no scope for personal comments or biasing of results. The results achieved are numerical and are thus, fair in most cases.

Learn more: Quantitative Data

Quantitative Marketing

The use of numerical methods to obtain insights into customer opinion and feedback is called quantitative marketing. The main method of quantitative marketing is conducting surveys. Data received from these surveys can be used by a customer-facing team by implementing corrective methods so that customer complaint can be minimized and an organization can focus on improving customer satisfaction levels.

Asking the right questions, in the right format to the right correct audience is an important part of quantitative marketing. To obtain trustworthy results, surveys and polls must be conducted with a large sample of the population so that the results are not skewed.

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