IN PROCONSULTANCE quantitative research is the systematic empirical investigation of observable phenomena via statistical, mathematical or computational techniques. The objective of quantitative research is to develop and employ mathematical models, theories and hypotheses pertaining to phenomena.
The process of measurement is central to quantitative research because it provides the fundamental connection between empirical observation and mathematical expression of quantitative relationships. Quantitative data is any data that is in numerical form such as statistics, percentages, etc.
The researcher analyzes the data with the help of statistics. The researcher is hoping the numbers will yield an unbiased result that can be generalized to some larger population. Qualitative research, on the other hand, asks broad questions and collects word data from phenomena or participants. The researcher looks for themes and describes the information in themes and patterns exclusive to that set of participants.
In social sciences, quantitative research is widely used in psychology, economics, demography, sociology, marketing, community health, health & human development, gender and political science, and less frequently in anthropology and history.
Importance of Quantitative Research
- More reliable and objective
- Can use statistics to generalise a finding
- Often reduces and restructures a complex problem to a limited number of variables
- Looks at relationships between variables and can establish cause and effect in highly controlled circumstances
- Tests theories or hypotheses
- Assumes sample is representative of the population
- Subjectivity of researcher in methodology is recognised less
- Less detailed than qualitative data and may miss a desired response from the participant