An overview of research methods :
Types , advantages , disadvantages

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Research methods are nothing but the way in which you carry out your research and collect information. Your research method must be peculiar to the kind of information you are going to collect and the end result you wish to achieve with it . Choosing the right research collection mechanism, tool and analysis method lies in the core of your research.

Data collection methods

On the basis of data type, your research methodology can be bifurcated into :

Qualitative vs Quantitative

An overview of research methods : Types , advantages , disadvantages cx insights

Qualitative method

This type of data includes textual information that presents insights and explanation. Unstructured questions which allow the respondents to elaborate their opinions without any restrictions are included under this sub-type.


  • Comprehensive : A respondent has the liberty to dive deep into explanations and follow ups that allow researchers to identify positives and fallouts.
  • Flexible and genuine : Given that the onus of answering lies completely with the respondent as there are no fixed answer choices , the number of respondents do not matter as long as the ones included in the research are representative of the target group’s sentiment and sampling bias can be avoided.


  • Difficult to analyse : Analysing qualitative information is a meticulous activity that requires careful attention to detail while listing key takeaways from individual responses
  •  Highly subjective : Qualitative responses vary in terms of length and type of responses. Listing one standard summary that provides an umbrella to each response is tedious , particularly when there is large sample involved.

Quantitative method

  • This includes pre-planned questions which provide numeric answers to questions . This method usually explains the “what” in a research.


  •  Easily summarized : Numerical data is easy to analyse using data and statistical analysis tools that provide a holistic summary of respondent answers.
  • Objective in nature : The questions in this method have limited answer options making it easy to establish standardized answers that have low room for variability.


  • Lacks insights: Quantitative method does not allow the respondent to elaborate on the reasoning behind the choice of their answers . The restrictive nature of such study makes it necessary for the researcher to complement their study using open ended comments that give a peek into respondent mindset.
  • Requires expertise : Although there are available tools to put quantitative data into perspective, the leg work of choosing and applying those specific tools requires a certain level of skill so that the analysis can be properly executed.

Descriptive vs Experimental

Descriptive method

Descriptive method is based on gathering data without indulging or intervening . This type of way is usually used to describe characteristics or phenomenons based on the viewpoints provided by a target set of people.


  • Large scale and quick : Descriptive data can be gathered from a large number of respondents using the right mechanism that maximizes reach along with increasing promptness in distribution and collection.
  • Cohesive mechanism : This method of research collects both qualitative and quantitative data and can be used as a stand alone data collection method.
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  •  Cause and effect relationship cannot be established : It is difficult to highlight cause and effect relationship using correlational studies.
  • Restrictive: Case studies , which are a type of descriptive study may limit your your participants to peculiar individuals which are a good fit for that case.
  •  Doesn’t uncover a cause and effect relationship : This method does not allow the identification of a cause behind a phenomenon.

Experimental method

This method is focused on using variables to study relationships in a controlled environment. Independent variables are manipulated to study their impact on the dependent variable.


  •  Explains cause and effect relationship : It is a meticulous study that explains the correlation between the dependent and independent variable in an accurate manner.
  •  Specific results: The outcomes of the study is measured exactly with respect to what the researching organization is looking for and the variables can be influenced accordingly.


  • Research bias : The sway over the research can lead to window dressing and researcher to skew the results in a certain direction.
  •  Time consuming : Creating an environment which facilitates the precise study of variables , in itself , is an elongated process. Added to that many studies cannot be carried out in an artificial environment due to their unrealistic nature.

Primary vs secondary

Primary method

This method collects first hand data directly from the respondents or the target group. Interviews , focus groups and surveys are just some of the methods suitable for this mechanism.


  • Updated information : Data collected using primary methods is based on updated market information and helps in tackling dynamic conditions.
  •  Better control and customization: Primary data collection is tailor made to suit the specific needs of the organization that is conducting it. Identifying pain points and gaining additional information becomes easier when the respondent is administered on a real time basis.


  • Costly: Primary data collection requires the organization to invest in each and every aspect of the research and so , is relatively expensive .
  • Cannot be performed by everyone: The various types of primary methods cannot be executed by untrained people . Professionals who specialize in advanced data collection and analytics can only be relied upon to deliver on the end objectives.

Secondary method

Secondary data uses existing information collected by other researchers to answer research questions. The nature of documents that the organization uses for gathering information depends on their research topic.


  • Saves time and money : Companies need not invest into surveying data that has already been collected and documented by other platforms.
  • Expanded source: Accessibility to data points from multiple locations and time period makes comparison and trend analysis feasible , which improves quality of decisions.

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Analysis techniques


Methodologies are also distinguished in terms of how a company evaluates the data that has been collected by it. It’s no the data that you collect but how you choose to use it that makes a difference.

These analysis methods prevents data overload by categorizing and summarizing it in ways that facilitates deeper understanding. Based on the nature of data , there are two categories of analysis:

Qualitative analysis

Qualitative analysis is used to extract meaning and highlight central ideas in textual data . It reflects upon the key sentiments projected in an open-ended comment , idea , feedback or any other unrestricted information. 

Qualitative analysis deals with inexact information which can be difficult to compute and is highly variable. This necessitates a meticulous understanding of each response for grasping the crux of respondent point of views.

Quantitative analysis

In this method , the data collected is subjected to specialized data and statistical analysis tools that are implemented by trained experts to ensure accuracy. The data analysis method opted for , depends on the needs of the organization and meant for increased and simple comprehension by stakeholders. 

These analysis produce substantive results that can be used to back up decisions. Close ended, structured and experimental questions can be evaluated using this method. The summary so obtained can be easily exported in relevant formats for easy usability.

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Great Research
Fast Insights
Best-in-class ROI

Voxco’s platform helps you gather omnichannel feedback, measure sentiment, uncover insights and act on them.

Join 500 + global clients across 40+ countries