Applied research Non-experimental design

Applied Research: Transforming Insights into Action


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Applied research is realistic and practical, helping you address real-world challenges and enhance innovation. From education to healthcare outcomes, it plays a significant role in transforming various sections of our society. It offers tangible data to drive progress and build a resilient brand and organization. 

In this blog, we’ll explore the impact of applied research in revolutionizing industries with empirical insights.

What is applied research?

Applied research refers to a non-systematic process of providing solutions to the specific problems or issues. These problems or issues can be on an individual level group or societal level as well. It is called ‘non-systematic’ due to its direct approach to finding the solutions. 

The process of applied research is often referred to as a scientific process because it uses the practical application of the available scientific tools to get to the determined solutions. 

Applied research Non-experimental design

Like normal research, in applied research too, the researcher identifies the problem, formulates the hypothesis, and perform experiments to test it. It further investigates the findings of a pure or basic research. 

What is the significance of applied research?

The applied research enables brands to drive innovation, uncover real-world problems, and address friction in individual experiences. 

1. Helps resolve practical problems: 

The applied research method helps organizations and brands identify and solve practical problems. It helps convert theoretical knowledge into actionable insights to help enhance productivity, improve efficiency, and address organizational challenges. 

2. Helps make data-driven decisions – 

The research type gathers empirical evidence that informs data-driven strategies and practices. By conducting applied research at regular intervals, you can gauge what works and what doesn’t.  

3. Helps gain competitive edge – 

Applied research empowers you with the relevant data needed to enhance competitiveness in the industry. The data helps foster the development of innovative products/services and strategies.

Understand how easy it is to create, test, distribute, and design the surveys

Types of applied research

There are various types of applied research methods depending on their process of finding the solutions, and they are:

1. Evaluation research – 

This is a type of applied research that works on the existing information about the research topic. It then analyses this information to come up with new outcomes for the research. It is mostly used in businesses, let’s say, research to figure out the loopholes in marketing strategies. 

2. Research and Developments – 

This method of applied research aims on producing new products and services depending to the latest market trends. Businesses use this approach to understand the new market trends and design their products according to the customers’ needs and expectations or make improvements in the existing ones. 

3. Action research – 

This method of applied research focuses on providing practical solutions to business problems. This is a process using reflective inquiry limited to specific contexts.

Applied research examples in various sectors

Applied research is used widely in various fields of study and research, from science to social science. Further, we discuss how it is used in those fields with some examples:

1. Applied research in business 

Applied research in business sectors totally depends on the products and services they make. It helps such businesses identify market needs and trends and then mold their products to best suit customers. 

Applied research gives businesses an upper hand as they are able to identify the gaps in their findings and also get primary information on the target market preferences. 


  • Applied research can help businesses improve their hiring process. 
  • Applied research makes the workplace efficient and policies. 
  • Applied research helps point out skill gaps in the workplace. 

2. Applied research in education: 

Educational fields use applied research to test teaching processes and improve methods of teaching and learning. Before introducing any new education policies, they are tested for their effectiveness regarding teaching factors and classroom dynamics and then implemented. 

Educational applied research combines both quantitative and qualitative data-gathering methods from primary sources. This data is then analyzed and interpreted using various methods to derive sensible results or conclusions. 

Applied research in this field is mostly devoted to formulating and testing the various approaches by experimenting with them in certain situations. It is based on empirical findings through accurate observations and descriptions. 


  • Applied research to understand the scope of online learning initiatives. 
  • Applied research to improve teacher-to-student classroom engagement.
  • Applied research to test the new mathematics program.

3. Applied research in science: 

As said earlier, applied research is often referred to as a scientific process because it uses the practical application of the available scientific tools to get to the determined solutions.

It is useful in various fields of physics, microbiology, thermodynamics, etc. 


  • Applied research to find a cure for a disease. 
  • Applied research to improve agricultural solutions.
  • Applied research to test new lab equipment.

 4. Applied research in psychology:

Researchers use applied research in psychology to determine workplace behaviors, HR, and development within the organization and draw solutions. 

It is widely used in areas where the thinking process of individuals is experimented with by the researcher, and then the solutions are drawn to suit their behavior best. 


  • Applied research to regulate a motivated work strategy to make the employees attend regularly. 
  • Applied research to determine the new ways of dealing with depression.
  • Applied research to improve students’ grades by focusing on practical education. 

5. Applied research in health:

In the medical field, applied research is mostly used as an evidence-based and solution-oriented method to test new medicines. 

It works by merging scientific knowledge and methods with health experiences to arrive at evidential and verifiable results. 


  • Applied research to determine the healing properties of a specific medicine. 
  • Applied research to specify the side effects of a certain medicine. 
  • Applied research on a new way of performing heart surgery. 

Methods of conducting applied research

Applied research makes use of both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection to analyze and draw verifiable conclusions. 

Some of the methods of collecting data for applied research are as follows:

1. Interviews – 

This is a method where the data is collected on a one-on-one basis. An interviewer asks questions to the subjects related to the research topics. You can conduct an interview using phone survey tool or a mobile-offline survey tool. It stands as the most reliable source of information for the research study.

2. Surveys research – 

Online surveys enable you to design digital surveys and share the link on online channels like email, SMS, social media, or website pop-ups. This makes the survey more accessible and enables respondents to take the survey in their preferred channel. These questions can be close-ended (provides quantitative data) or open-ended (provides qualitative data). 

3. Observation – 

This method includes observing the subjects in their environment to learn their behaviors and thoughts, though the researcher’s biases can influence this. 

4. Focus groups – 

This includes gathering data from a group of people about a certain issue. The researcher gathers a sample of individuals who have faced the issue and asks them open-ended questions.

Advantages of applied research

Applied research enables you to leverage existing knowledge to improve business and revolutionize industries. 

  • It is bias-free as it tests empirical evidence to arrive at valid outcomes. It has a systematic process to arrive at solutions.
  • It is highly helpful when you have to find solutions to specific problems. The research method allows you to work closely with the target audience and identify pressing problems. 
  • It is grounded in practical relevance, which ensures that the findings you generate are directly applicable to the intended population. 
  • Applied research involves a research-to-application pipeline as it is the more action-oriented approach.

Challenges of applied research

In the applied research method, the theoretical knowledge may not always align with real-world challenges. Let’s look into some more challenges of this research type. 

  • It is not flexible in nature and is restricted to deadlines. 
  • Its results cannot be generalized as it focuses on finding solutions to specific problems. 
  • In this research method, a researcher needs to navigate the gap between theory and practical knowledge without sacrificing scientific integrity. 
  • You must adhere to ethical guidelines, as the research findings have direct implications for individuals.

Applied research vs Basic research: Differences

Applied research Non-experimental design

Both of these research types – basic and applied – dive into existing information to generate new information. The research methods share the same principle, however, the point of difference lies in their objectives. 

What is applied research?

This research method focuses on the pursuit of facts and knowledge in alignment with its application in the real world. The objective is to examine how knowledge can help intervene in a practical phenomenon. 

Applied research is grounded in identifying practical solutions to real-world challenges. 

What is basic research?

This research method is often known as “pure” research. Its key characteristic is its aim to unravel the hidden insights of nature and society. The focus is on discovering new theories and facts without an immediate application of action. 

In basic research, the need is to understand the ‘why’ and ‘how’, without any focus on ‘what can be done’.


In a rapidly evolving world, the importance of applied research reaches greater heights in order to confront complex challenges such as public health crises, economic inequality, technological disruptions, and more. 

Embracing an evidence-based approach can foster innovations and uncover actionable insights to ensure positive change across various disciplines.

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