While terms such as research and qualitative research may seem to deal with things which are beyond your everyday life, the reality is different. You come face to face with different methods of qualitative research as well as its applications quite frequently in day to day life.
The online or telephonic surveys that you are sometimes asked to give are methods of qualitative research. So are in depth interviews that you sometimes see on television regarding one or other aspect of some social or political problem. It is done in schools to understand kid’s behavior, in offices so that organizations may understand employees, in hospitals so that patient care may be improved, in restaurants, movie theaters, everywhere that you can think of. Why? Because qualitative research helps you (or the researcher) understand the human reasoning behind any behavior, pattern or issue.
Have you ever wondered how companies come to conclusions about what is required in a product or how to market a product? Or, how governments decide why certain sections of society are concerned about something? Qualitative research helps researchers, organizations and people in general understand an issue, problem or aspect by trying to understand the people involved; their reasoning and their perspective.
What is it Used For?
Results are used to help companies, organizations etc to arrive at many decisions regarding their approach to their products, their consumers and their employees. It also gives researchers ideas for new products, tells them about any dissatisfaction among the consumers and which section of society responds most to a product. Similarly government uses qualitative research to develop new policies, understand the country’s reaction to their policies etc. Old products may be reintroduced and new withdrawn, based on these surveys.
How Qualitative Research is Conducted
It is not usually conducted directly by the people who require the data. There are companies, such as market research companies, who do the research on behalf of these folks. They have dedicated teams who are experienced in methods of qualitative as well as quantitative research (the surveys that show numbers; such as 57 per cent youth prefer some brand over other). These teams use qualitative research methods such as online surveys, telephonic or mail surveys, personal interviews, studying and observing people, to collect data. Then by means of a process called inductive reasoning, they come to conclusions which then are given to the people who hired them. Companies use this data in developing new products or adding a new facility to their restaurant.
Why it’s Important
Now you know what it means when you come across an online survey while browsing the net, or while shopping for your favorite item. Answering the survey is important because, the more data they get the more accurate their information will be. Or at least they will get more perspectives. And it will help the people involved make more informed decisions, which in the end will benefit you, since they will apply the results on you.
The internet has revolutionized qualitative research quite as much as every other aspect of people’s life. Naturally online surveys have contributed. Giving a few minutes of your time to answer one that concerns you will only be beneficial. You can start taking UK online surveys by taking a look at our online surveys.