Quantitative research involves collecting data from a fairly large sample or population in a structured and standardised way.
Quantitative research can be used in descriptive and explanatory (conclusive) research enquiries and in exploratory studies. It is used, for example, to collect data to describe the characteristics of a market, to describe and/or explain spending patterns, brand share, voting behaviour and so on. In other words, it is used when there is a need to measure or quantify something, or when there is a need to test or validate an idea or theory or hypothesis.
The main methods of collecting data are:
- Self-completion methods;
- Online surveys; and
- Specialised, panel or omnibus data collection methods.
Your choice of data collection will depend on a number of factors including the research objectives, the subject matter, the nature and size of the sample required, the timing and your budget.