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Conducting thorough market research is all about framing the right questions that provide accurate answers to research questions. The two main categories of questions namely: Quantitative and Qualitative questions focus on differential aspects.
While quantitative research questions are based on numerical data that provides a substantial backing to the decision making process, qualitative research questions aim to derive insights based on textual responses. Both these questions are used based on their relevance and suitability to meet end objectives of the user.
One such useful quantitative question type are the descriptive research questions.
Descriptive research questions aim to provide a description of the variable under consideration. It is one of the easiest and commonly used ways to quantify research variables.
Questions that begin with:
Variable: time spent on watching documentaries
Variable: International trips
Variable: Likelihood of purchasing a life insurance
Group: People within the age group of 20-26
Variable: Daily Exercise
Group: High School Students
Variable: Usage of curated apps
Group: Smartphone users
Variable: Educational format
Variable: Purchasing Behaviour of cosmetics
Variable: Travelling medium
Variable: Influencing factors
Group: UK property investors/ New buyers
Among other such phrases are all classified as descriptive questions. By gathering sufficient responses to such questions, end users are able to make intelligent decisions based on hard figures that help in gathering stakeholder confidence.
For example: What percentage of college students make use of e-libraries for their academic needs. In this example the variable under observation is usage of e-libraries and the group that is evaluated are the college going students.
By providing percentages, averages, sum, proportions and other such figures, descriptive research questions provide a complete view of the target groups responses with respect to that variable. The above example has restricted the usage of variables to one, but many researchers alternatively choose to incorporate multiple variables under a single head.
Descriptive research questions are a systematic methodology that helps in understanding the what, where, when and how. Important variables can be rigidly defined using descriptive research, unlike qualitative research where the subjectivity in responses makes it relatively difficult to get a grasp on the overall picture. The multiple methods available allow for in-person as well as online research to be carried out based on whatever the need of the end user is.
The data provided by descriptive research assists comprehensive understanding by providing an in-depth view of the variable that is being studied.
These are the following steps used to perform single-stage cluster sampling:
Further steps may be taken using two-stage or multistage sampling to achieve desired sample size if it cannot be achieved through one-stage sampling.
Descriptive research questions has divisions based on multiple business applications:
Descriptive research questions can be centred around organizational market performance in terms of sales figures, competitive appeal, updated practices, market share analytics, concept studies and other data collection processes that intend to gather market know-how. Target market analysis can also be done using descriptive question types wherein organizations can precisely define their niche audience.
Consumer perceptions and ideas about what suits them best can be understood using descriptive question types. These studies are used to design curated products that meet target market requirements. Anything from products, services, offers, incentives, promotions and marketing, pricing, packaging, feedback mechanism can be put into perspective and gauged to extract material results.
While market performance looks at external variables, internal trends focus on departmental contributions, revenue generation, product specific demands, sales figures etc. This internal summary helps appraise performance within the organization and contrast it with external performance for benchmarking purposes.
There is no rocket science behind framing the right question for your variable. It’s just a matter of figuring out what you want to assess and the numerical measure you’re looking for. The usage of descriptive questions in your study also comes with the condition of keeping the entire process concise and to the point.
To start off, figure out the variable that you wish to gauge and the target group that needs to be evaluated. This will determine the centre point of your research questions. Avoid providing vague descriptions and instead, try narrowing the details. Such a practice will direct the questioning to the exact audience you wish to examine without adding in unnecessary responses.
Choose the starting phrase that encompasses what you’re looking to measure. For example: If you’re looking to examine or separate a certain type of person from the entire target audience, phrases such as “what proportion” or “what percentage” can prove highly useful.
Make sure that your answer choices are balanced. This is another bias that forces the respondent into altering their actual responses. Try to provide equal representation to all possible answers such that the probability of receiving each response is equally likely.
Lastly, look for variables of questions that you can club together without affecting the overall questioning process. However, it is often useful to bifurcate combined questions wherever you can, combining relevant questions together can provide useful information about existing relationships. This goes without saying that such clubbing must not act as a hindrance to the understanding of these variables as separate characteristics.
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