Monday, February 28, 2011

Can Being Stuck on the "Right Methodology" Get You the Wrong Answer?

There is a super post over at Research Access from Ron Sellers  that originally appeared on Green Book Blog that points out how often we get stuck in the rut of fighting for the right methodology - when we should be fighting about the BEST methodology to get the information we need.

There don't seem to be any hard and fast rules about specifically which methods are right, that seems to be up to the expertise of the researcher and the decisions that they are looking to make which will be using the data they are collecting.

It's funny how we get sidetracked by the shiny new tools and ways to get at things and then forget about the basics; use qualitative, exploratory tools to get to the hard questions.  Then use more specific quantitative tools to gather the statistically relevant information that will help you predict what the larger overall population will do.

It's kind of like cooking isn't it?  The same ingredients in the hands of a novice yield completely different results than they do in the hands of an Iron Chef!

What are your thoughts on this topic?
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