Business Research: Definition, Types, and Methods

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Business Research: Definition, Types, and Methods Linear regression
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What is Business Research?

Business research refers to the process of gathering information on all areas of business with the purpose of leveraging this data to promote organizational growth, increase sales, and maximize profit. It involves the systematic management activities that help companies decide which products or services will perform well in the market and will therefore be most profitable to produce.

Exploratory Research Guide

Conducting exploratory research seems tricky but an effective guide can help.

Why is Business Research Important?

Business research provides companies with comprehensive data on the target customer’s preferences, purchasing behavior, demographics, and pain points. Such information allows the business to strategize and create more effective marketing plans that resonate with the target audience. A thorough overview of the overall market will also give the business an understanding of market trends and market demands so that plans and strategies can be devised accordingly. 

Another key use of business research is that it can bring attention to areas where costs can be minimized to increase profits. It provides businesses with a competitive edge in the market by ensuring that all identified opportunities are capitilized on and that decisions are made with customers in focus. 

Business Research Methodologies

Business Research: Definition, Types, and Methods Linear regression

We can categorize business research methods in two ways: 

  • Quantitative and Qualitative
  • Primary and Secondary 

Quantitative vs Qualitative Business Research

Before we can delve into the specific kinds of research, it is important to have an understanding of the distinctions between the two key types of research: quantitative and qualitative business research. 

Quantitative research involves data that is statistical and numerical in nature. Such data can be analysed using statistical techniques. Qualitative research, on the other hand, involves non-numeric data that generally takes a textual form. 

Primary vs Secondary Business Research

Another way in which research methods can be classified is by primary and secondary research. Primary research refers to the collection of first-hand data, generally directly from the source. Some common methods of primary research are surveys, interviews, and observations. 

Conversely, secondary research uses existing data that is already avalaible.

 

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Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods

Quantitative Research Methods

Some commonly used quantitative methods of business research are: 

  • Experimental Research: Experimental research refers to research studies that adhere to the scientific research design. This type of research aims to prove or disprove a theory, or hypothesis. Businesses generally use experimental research to study consumers’ behavioral traits. 
  • Survey Research: Survey research is one of the most commonly used methods of data collection because it is relatively easy and inexpensive to leverage. Surveys can be conducted in many different ways such as through social media polls or email surveys. 
  • Existing Literature: Existing research papers and online research are other sources of gathering quantitative data. This method is economical, accessible, and allows for the collection of vast amounts of data. 

Qualitative Research Methods

Some commonly used qualitative methods of business research are: 

  • Interviews: Interviews are structured conversations that take place between an interviewer and an interviewee face-to-face, over the internet, or even through the phone. Generally, interviews involve the use of open-ended questions that provide respondents the flexibility to express their thoughts, perceptions, and opinions on the topic. 
  • Ethnographic Research: Ethnographic research where researchers immerse themselves in the participant’s real-life environment to observe and study their behaviour. It is generally used by organizations that want to understand cultural dynamics or factors. Although this method of research can help extract intensive and compelling data, it is extremely time-consuming and expensive. 
  • Case Study Research: Case study research refers to the detailed study of a specific subject. This method is used to produce in-depth, multi-faceted information on complex issues in the real-world setting.

FAQs on Business Research

Business research involves gathering information on all areas of business with the goal of maximising sales and revenue.

Business research methodologies can be categorized in two ways; 

  • Quantitative and qualitative
  • Secondary and Primary

Some quantitative methods of business research are; 

  • Survey Research 
  • Experimental Research 
  • Existing Literature

Some primary research methods are interviews, surveys, and focus groups. Some secondary research methods are public sources, educational sources, and commercial sources.

Some qualitative methods of business research are; 

  • Interviews
  • Ethnographic Research
  • Case Study Research

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Hindol Basu 
GM, Voxco Intelligence

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