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Some Effective Data Gathering Techniques Commonly Used For Qualitative Research Methodology

Why do people continue to smoke when they know how bad it is for their health?

Why don’t patients take their medicines on time?

Why teenagers are more interested in social media tools compared to grown-ups?

These are some of the questions that can be answered through qualitative research.

Where the

quantitative research

tries to measure things and determine counts, it is more concerned with ‘richer’ answers. It is concerned with finding answers as to why people behave the way they do and what are the factors that help them make decisions.

But before analysis of results received through it, a researcher needs to collect the data that represents a perfect representation of the total sample size.

Some of the ways to collect the data that are commonly used

for qualitative methodology are as follows:

  • Focus Groups:
    In this method, the researcher tries to bring together a small number of people together who discuss a subject that is given to them. The participants of this focus group are carefully screened so that they represent the population that the researcher wants to study. Mostly the respondents of the focus group don’t know each other due to which the entire activity is managed by a moderator. a focus group is kept deliberately small so that the people do not have a problem sharing their views confidently. The discussion in the focus group is usually recorded through a tape recorder which is later transcribed and analyzed.
  • Direct Observations:
    This is the type of study where the researcher tries to immerse himself with the subjects that he is trying to study. This gives them a better insight within the community of the subjects that they are trying to study. The observer can be the researcher himself or an external observer who is not affiliated with the project in any way. One simple way to document the observations is through noting it down with a pen on a paper.

Mostly a list of observations to be studied is already prepared beforehand to save time and effort.

  • In-Depth Interviews:
    Interviews generally follow the same principles as the focus groups but here the interviews are conducted personally so that the researcher may get an in-depth view of the customers’ experiences. These interviews seldom have a pre-determined set of questions as the questions are developed according to the route of the conversation.

Further methods that are being used for qualitative research methods:

  • Case Studies:
    This method is perfect if the researcher has to analyze one particular event, individual or company. This includes an in-depth study of the research subject.
  • Diary Methods:
    This is where the researcher keeps a personal account of feelings, events, discussions etc that are later analyzed.

So, there you have some of the methods through which data is qualitative research methods is gathered and later analyzed through the use of different statistical softwares.

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