Methods to collect Quantitative Data quantitative data

Methods to collect Quantitative Data

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What is Quantitative Data?

Quantitative Data is the collection of numerical data which has statistical significance. Unlike qualitative data, Quantitative research quantifies attitudes, behaviors, opinions, and other variables to either prove or reject a hypothesis. 

Quantitative research involves the collection of numerical data by using close-ended or multiple-choice questions. The data collection adopted by the researcher can vary; however, it is essential to choose an appropriate method to collect quantitative data. The questions asked must be objective and easy to understand on the audience’s part to collect and examine the received data. 

Quantitative data analysis includes two statistical analyses: descriptive and inferential. To be able to conclude data with data as a whole is Descriptive Statistic Analysis. On the other hand, highlighting statistical significance in the difference between two or more data groups is Inferential Statistic Analysis.

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Types of Quantitative Data Collection

  • Survey/Questionnaire
  • Interviews 
  • Observation
  • Existing Data
  • Probability
Quantitative Data collection methods

Survey/Questionnaire

Surveys/questionnaires aids in collecting data from a group or a large number of people. Surveys/questionnaires are ideal for both Quantitative and Qualitative research. But in the case of Quantitative Data collection, the questionnaire must include a checklist and rating scale type close-ended or multiple-choice questions. Such questions can be easily quantified and is also a straightforward method. 

Two types of Questionnaire:

Website Questionnaire: With more and more businesses coming online, the website questionnaire or survey method is the most trusted and most popular. Adding a pop-up feature with a link or uploading a link of the survey on the website’s homepage or sending a link to the subscribed customers are some of the most common ways of website surveys. 

The respondent can reply to mail whenever they are free and from whichever device they are comfortable with. Moreover, a secure website and secure survey tool can prevent revealing the identity of the respondent. 

Mail/Postal Questionnaire: In a mail questionnaire, the survey is mailed to the members of a sample population. The mail survey packet includes an explanation about the type of research and reason and the company detail, return address, and the questionnaire itself. 

However, there is a possibility of participants refusing to complete the survey. The company can survey by including a prepaid return, but it will be expensive for the company. 

A mail survey also lets the participant take their time to reply and prevent them from revealing the identity.

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Interviews

The interview involves a direct conversation between the researcher and the customers. Usually, it includes face-to-face, telephone, or computer-assisted interviews. There three different types of interviews, each with another purpose. 

Structured Interview: It is the base-level interview that is generally short and is verbally administered. It lacks depth, but structured interviews are helpful when the researcher requires some basic information and is time-bound.

Semi-structured Interviews: The researcher has more freedom in a semi-structured interview to explore the relevant subject matter. It involves questions on the scope of the areas required and intended to be explored. 

Unstructured Interviews: It involves in-depth questioning and discussion to collect and analyze a broad range of information. It is more time-consuming. Type of methods used to collect information via Interview are: 

Face-to-face: A popular mode of interview, face-to-face interviews have the advantage of detailed discussion between the researcher and the participant. The response rate in a face-to-face interview is often higher, even if it is time-consuming and expensive. The quantitative data collected is also detailed. 

Telephone: Telephone interview is more expensive, and there is always a higher chance of the respondent refusing to participate in the survey. Moreover, there can be other technical issues. However, with the advancement of technology, a slightly more advanced version of the telephonic interview is online video call interviews.

Observation

In an observational research method, the researcher either observes the audience as an observer, as a participant, an observer as a participant, or a participant as an observer. It is a simple method of collecting data where the researcher has to blend in with its environment. 

The researcher collects the quantitative data visually depending on their keen observation. Moreover, the advantage of the observation research method is that it does not create an awkward situation when the respondent is unwilling to participate. 

Structured Observation: This method of observation involves the researcher focusing on a specific area of interest. Structured observation intends to gauge a particular behavior or attitude of the audience properly.

Existing Data

Existing data is a method to gather verifiable and quantifiable data from existing data. These records are easily accessible. The researcher can add new information along with the data derived from the existing documents.

Research journals and survey records tools are used to analyze existing data and establish new quantitative data. 

Public records: Annual policy reports, student activity reports, and other reports that document reviews and ongoing records are examples of public records. 

Personal records: Personal records include documents about an individual’s private details. Height, weight, and other such behavioral, physique, etc., fall under this category.

Physical evidence: Physical evidence is documents kept in the record by an individual or an organization.

Probability

A random selection of members in the sample population is the basic idea of Probability. The researcher is capable of making statements based on the information obtained from the target audience. The data is collected in a random manner which disrupts any possibility of bias. 

Types of probability research methods used to collect quantitative data are: 

Simple Random Sampling: In simple random sampling method, members of the population are selected randomly. Every member has a chance of selection. 

Systematic Sampling: In systematic sampling, type members are chosen at a set interval. The researcher systematically selects the population—for example, every 5th or 10th person from the list. 

Stratified Sampling: This sampling method allows the researcher to divide a population into units to create a sample. For example, the researcher can select a set of males or females in the model using a stratified sampling method. 

Characteristics of Quantitative Data

Numerical: A quantitative data, because of its numerical feature, is definitive and objective. The data, illustrated and quantified, makes it more reliable. 

Comprehensive: The data gathered in quantitative data gives a precise result when the data is robust. However, if the information is weak, the result will be unstable. Good quality, robust, and proven data will lead you to insightful, knowledgeable, and actionable results. 

Discrete as well as Continuous Data: A discrete quantitative data possess finite numbers. Continuous quantitative data, however, has the possibility of having fractions and decimals

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