For qualitative research, data collection options can seem endless. As a creative research method, there are a variety of options readily available. These can include: open-ended survey questions, focus groups, one-on-one interviews, intercept interviews, and the list goes on and on.
But, what about quantitative research methods?
Since this type of data is numerical and scientific, rather than interpretive, your options may initially appear to be boring and limiting. However, there are a variety of ways quantitative research can be incorporated into a wide variety of market research methods.
Quantitative research can be beneficial to any market research study. Most commonly, quantitative research compares several variables against one another, which lead to important findings and help companies make better business decisions.
In this blog post, we will explore the different styles of questions to use when conducting quantitative market research and how best to use them.
Yes or no. True or false. These are potential answer choices for dichotomous survey questions. This type of question is used if it is clear there are only two possible answers. Dichotomous questions can simplify the survey experience for respondents and produce clean, measurable data, but it is important to remember that not every question will be as simple as black and white.
One of the most common survey question types, multiple choice questions provide a list of answers in which the respondent can choose from. Multiple choice questions aim to exhaust all possible answers, however, it can be difficult to be completely inclusive. In this case, our national market research company recommends adding an “Other, please specify” answer choice to help reduce bias.
Multiple choice questions are a great quantitative survey question because they produce data that is easy to analyze.
Similar to multiple choice, multiple answer, or check-all that apply, questions aim to be comprehensive. Multiple answer questions are a great choice for questions that might have more than one possible answer, such as asking respondents what apps they have on their phone.
Like multiple choice questions, researchers may benefit from adding an “Other, please specify” answer choice to avoid creating any bias.
Likert scales are a great way to measure exactly what or how respondents think and feel. Typically, the answer options will include a scale ranging from one extreme to another, such as not at all satisfied, to very satisfied or strongly disagree, to strongly agree. Each answer will have their own label.
For example, a Likert scale question would have answer choices such as: strongly disagree, somewhat disagree, neutral, somewhat agree, and strongly agree.
Likert scale questions are useful to measure agreement, frequency, likelihood, and importance. They are also great for measuring customer or employee satisfaction.
Similar to Likert scales, semantic differential questions are useful when it comes to measuring attitudes. Semantic differential questions are often seen to produce less bias than Likert scales.
For this type of question, bipolar choices, such as good and bad, are shown on opposite sides of a scale with a clear midpoint.
However, unlike Likert scale questions, the answers are not labeled from strongly disagree through strongly agree. Rather, the scale would show disagree on one side of the scale and agree on the other.
Rank order questions allow respondents to rearrange a list of multiple choice options. This type of question allows researchers to better understand the target audience’s preferences and create a better profile.
Rank order questions are engaging, yet easy to answer, which can increase a survey’s overall completion rate.
A matrix question is a series of Likert scale questions compiled into many rows. Instead of measuring a respondent's opinion through a series of separate questions, matrix questions simplify the survey experience.
How can I use these quantitative research options?
Quantitative data is extremely important when it comes to making generalizations and important business decisions. This type of data can be collected through the above question types in several ways.
Drive Research, a full-service market research company, sees surveys as one of the simplest methods to collect quantitative data. Survey research is a great option because many mediums can be explored to maximize audience reach. Surveys can be conducted online, which makes participating in research simple for avid smartphone and computer users.
For those who would rather have a more personalized experience, phone surveys are an option. Lastly, mail surveys are convenient for respondents and have incredible response rates.
Although focus groups and interviews are often thought to be more qualitative, elements of quantitative research can be incorporated into these types of market research. The moderator or interviewers can have participants respond to questions, either written or verbally. The data can then be manually entered and further analyzed to supplement qualitative research.
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