When it comes to market research, quantitative data is just half the battle. In order to truly understand the subject's psyche, you must go beyond the numbers and utilize qualitative research. Qualitative research is one in which researchers attempt to gather an in-depth understanding of human behavior. It goes beyond the what, where, and when and investigates the why and how of decision making.
Focus groups are perhaps the first thing that comes to mind when most people talk about qualitative studies. However, these are expensive to conduct, timely, and require that people must be physically present for the duration of the meeting. With the help of technology, qualitative research is becoming easier to conduct online than previously thought. Companies like TryMyUI are pushing the horizon of what can be done with the internet while gathering rich qualitative data.
TryMyUI is a usability testing website that allows you to hear and see what people are thinking as they use your website or software for the first time. Designed to help improve user interface and flow, TryMyUI is essentially like conducting a qualitative research study about your website over the internet... but for much cheaper. There are a number of services like these that are popping up to meet the need for qualitative data over the internet. This is a great opportunity for websites and softwares of all kinds.
So today we're discussing 3 advantages of qualitative research:
#1 - Data is collected in a natural setting where the respondent feels comfortable and knowledgeable.
When you collect data from a respondent in their natural surroundings, they are more likely to feel comfortable and thus, less likely to exude a bias of any sort.
#2 - It is useful for describing complex phenomena.
When doing qualitative research, a respondent can describe in rich detail certian situations, contexts, and phenomenon. It provides a better understanding of a person's personal experiences or point of view.
#3 - You can conduct cross-case comparisons.
Another huge advantage of qualitative studies is that you can cross-compare one case to another for improvement. Since it uses subjective information, this is a great benefit. And because it is not limited to narrowly defined variables, the scope and possibilities of learning is very large.