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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 lie at the core of your research.
In this blog, we will focus on the advantages and disadvantages of research. We will look through different types of methods used and the pros and cons of each.
When planning your research you need to make two decisions –
These two questions will help you map out your entire research plan.
There are three ways research methods are divided. Each of these ways serves a certain purpose. These three ways depend on how you want to collect the data.
Now that we have established the three different approaches, let’s dive deeper into the advantages and disadvantages of research.
We will look at the pros and cons as we explain each form of the data collection method. We will explain all six types of methods in this section.
On the basis of the data you want to collect, your research methodology can be bifurcated into these two types of approaches.
Qualitative data includes textual information that presents insights and explanations in the respondents’ own words. Unstructured questions which allow the respondents to elaborate their opinions without any restrictions are included under this sub-type.
Now let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of research type.
[Related read: Quantitative Vs Qualitative Research]
This includes pre-planned questions which provide numeric answers to questions. This method usually explains the “what” in research.
The quantitative method helps discover trends and patterns in customer feedback. It also helps establish the initial groundwork needed to conduct in-depth research.
Let’s see the advantages and disadvantages of research collecting quantitative data.
Based on how you want to conduct the research we can categorize them into the following two research methods.
The descriptive method is based on gathering data without indulging or intervening. This type of way is usually used to describe characteristics or phenomena based on the viewpoints provided by a target set of people.
Let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of research conducted without intervention.
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.
Let’s take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of research conducted by experiment.
Do you want to run surveys using an online survey tool? Conduct interviews in person? Or, do you want to use data from previous research conducted by other researchers?
Depending on the channels you use to collect the data, the research method can be divided into primary or secondary types.
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.
Now let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of research conducted by gathering first-hand data.
Secondary data uses existing information collected by other researchers to answer research questions. The nature of the documents that the organization uses for gathering information depends on the research topic.
Let’s see what are the advantages and disadvantages of research when you use existing data.
[Related read: Primary Vs Secondary Research]
Now that we have looked at the advantages and disadvantages of research in all its forms and approaches, let’s go to the second step in the research – data analysis.
Methodologies are also distinguished in terms of how a company evaluates the data that has been collected by it. It’s not the data that you collect but how you choose to use it that makes a difference.
These analysis methods prevent data overload by categorizing and summarizing it in ways that facilitate deeper understanding. Based on the nature of the data, there are two categories of analysis: Quantitative and Qualitative analysis.
It is important to understand how these two types of analysis are performed because they also contribute to the advantages and disadvantages of research.
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.
The 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 the respondent’s point of view.
In this method, the data collected is subjected to specialized 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 is meant for increased and simple comprehension by stakeholders.
These analyses 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.
This sums up the advantages and disadvantages of research and how each type of approach contributes to the research goal.
When you plan your research use these three divisions to decide the best way to get the most out of it. Use the questions mentioned at the top to determine the best way to conduct your research and gather reliable and accurate data.
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