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March 5, 2015

Qualitative Research — What Makes It Effective?

Qualitative research is used in a wide range of areas or fields of a discipline. They are methods typically employed by researchers to gather data. This kind of research includes documenting the experiences that researchers have encountered, when studying the problem or the issue, in the form of personal observations, interviews, case studies, etc.

The following provides a better understanding of this kind of research.

Qualitative analysis

Qualitative research refers to techniques and methodologies that are described as observer or anthropological, field, ethnographic, naturalistic research. This kind of research emphasizes looking at variables in their own natural settings, where they are generally found. Data is collected through a wide range of open-ended questions that help gain direct quotations on the problem. In qualitative research, the interviewer plays a very important role.

What makes qualitative research effective?

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The effectiveness of qualitative research depends largely on the situation or the problem in which it’s being used. When used in the right context, it can prove to be very effective. Therefore, effective qualitative research data collection is a first choice of research method for a number of reasons. They include the following:

  • Subjects and issues can be examined in-depth which helps makes the conclusions more accurate.
  • Research isn’t limited to rigidly-set, pre-defined variables and can be altered or modified as per the situation. In fact, the framework and direction of the entire research can be refreshed and revived as new findings and information comes along.
  • Subtleties and complexities of research topics can often not be covered with the quantitative and qualitative approaches.
  • Findings derived from qualitative analysis can be transferred to a different settings too.
  • With qualitative analysis, a researcher has a better view of the situation at hand and, therefore, tries to get the best picture across.
  • Complex cases can be analyzed using qualitative research, which can be difficult or even impossible with quantitative theory.
  • Qualitative analysis can also deal better with questions that are value laden.
  • There is always scope to newer areas of the research in question.
  • Newer theories can be developed through different research learnings.

The qualitative research data collection method has been a topic of immense debate. While some data collection companies in India favor qualitative research for diagnosing a situation, others criticize it as well. However, there has been no concrete validations that stand against it and it continues to be used, although its appropriateness varies from study to study.

What are your takes on qualitative research? Do share them with me in the comments below.


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Daina Martin is a freelance author and writes for a variety of online publications like huffingtonpost.in and Launch.it. She actively writes blogs and articles related to eco-friendly resources, health and technology. When she’s not working, she likes to cook, dance and travel. After working with various agencies and institutions, she has now decided to share her knowledge related to marketing research.

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