Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
LLR Home Library Services Student IT Support Our Libraries Digital Skills Centre
MyAccount Email Moodle VLE MyLSBU

Mini-Module: Reports

Side nav layout

4. Research methodology

Skills for Learning Logo4. Research methodology

There are basically two main ways of gathering data, and two main philosophies of doing research; deciding which of these you will use is an important decision. 

The video activities below will help you to understand the main issues so that you can make the right choices. 

 

Research methods

Video Activity 1

Primary and secondary research

(The transcript is at the bottom of the page.)

 

Video activity 2.

Qualitative vs quantitative research

 

Defining qualitative and quantitative research methods

Transcripts

Video Activity 1. Primary and secondary research

00:00:    [Music]
00:04:    when organizations enter into strategic
00:07:    planning they conduct different types of
00:09:    relevant research and analysis as part
00:12:    of this process
00:13:    marketers talk about collecting
00:15:    secondary and primary data let us list
00:19:    the learning goals for this video
00:21:    firstly the goal is to establish a
00:24:    connection between primary and secondary
00:26:    research and the rest of the research
00:28:    analysis and strategic planning process
00:32:    secondly the goal is to gain an
00:34:    understanding of what primary and
00:36:    secondary data is the pros and cons of
00:39:    each and how we can conduct these two
00:41:    types of research so let us begin when
00:47:    organizations enter into strategic
00:49:    planning they conduct different types of
00:51:    research and analysis they might conduct
00:54:    both secondary and primary research they
00:58:    will consider using qualitative and or
01:01:    quantitative research and different
01:03:    survey types they would check the
01:06:    quality of their research data by
01:08:    critically applying the terms validity
01:11:    and reliability the gathered data might
01:16:    be used in a process of conducting
01:18:    different analysis internal analysis
01:22:    which could include a look at the
01:24:    company accounts current business model
01:27:    core competencies and others and
01:32:    external analysis such as pest Porter's
01:36:    five forces competitor analysis and
01:39:    others and ultimately they might
01:43:    summarize all their research in a SWOT
01:46:    analysis this might be followed by a
01:48:    towers model in order to identify
01:50:    several strategic options to choose
01:53:    between this will enable them to make
01:56:    informed strategic decisions about which
01:59:    direction to take primary and secondary
02:03:    research is what we will address in this
02:06:    video so what is primary and secondary
02:09:    research and how could we go about
02:12:    collecting these two
02:13:    of data let us use an example this Cafe
02:19:    is located in a large city close to a
02:21:    busy high street it is called the French
02:24:    cafe and it specializes in serving high
02:27:    quality cakes and desserts
02:30:    the French Cafe is experiencing
02:32:    increasing competition from both
02:35:    existing competitors and new cafes
02:37:    opening up all around the area motivated
02:41:    by his curiosity to find out more about
02:44:    the competitors the owner of the French
02:46:    cafe has decided to do some research so
02:51:    what kind of information could the
02:53:    French cafe collect they could access
02:57:    business databases to find details about
03:00:    each competitor such as their financial
03:02:    results and some commercial industry
03:05:    databases open for more detailed company
03:08:    information at a fee to compare with
03:12:    their own internal situation they could
03:14:    gather information from their own
03:15:    financial accounts they could visit the
03:19:    competitors websites social media sites
03:21:    and perform online searches to collect
03:24:    information about the different
03:26:    competitors online presence and
03:27:    communication style they could also
03:30:    access TripAdvisor or similar platforms
03:34:    to find out how customers review the
03:36:    competitors we call this type of
03:39:    research secondary or desk research so
03:44:    let us take a look at the
03:45:    characteristics of secondary data
03:49:    secondary data has not been created or
03:51:    published for the benefit of the French
03:53:    cafes competitor analysis it has
03:56:    originally been created for a general
03:57:    purpose aimed at a variety of people or
04:00:    businesses secondary data is already out
04:04:    there just waiting to be found and
04:06:    explored the benefits of secondary data
04:10:    is that it is usually relatively quick
04:13:    easy and low cost to obtain however the
04:18:    disadvantage of secondary data is that
04:21:    the information is not targeted directly
04:24:    at French cake specific information
04:26:    needs
04:27:    now let us imagine that French cakes
04:30:    would like to obtain some information
04:32:    which is targeted specifically at their
04:35:    own information needs they could design
04:38:    a suitable questionnaire and interview
04:41:    customers they could invite customers
04:44:    for a focus group interview they could
04:48:    set up specific goals in their Google
04:50:    Analytics to track on their website how
04:53:    users interact with their online booking
04:55:    feature and they could track social
04:57:    media interactions they could also carry
05:00:    out other observations of customers
05:02:    behavior both on the website and in the
05:05:    cafe this type of research is called
05:09:    primary or field research so let us take
05:14:    a look at what characterizes primary
05:16:    data primary data is generated
05:19:    specifically for us and for our specific
05:22:    purpose primary data is not already out
05:26:    there in the form that we require it we
05:29:    could argue that the online behavioral
05:31:    data already exists but French cake's is
05:35:    now setting up specific filters to track
05:37:    and show an exact behavior the benefit
05:41:    of primary data is clearly that it is
05:43:    targeted specifically to our individual
05:46:    needs however the disadvantage is that
05:50:    it is relatively time consuming complex
05:53:    to carry out and therefore also
05:55:    relatively costly so what is best
06:00:    secondary or primary research in our
06:05:    example French cakes would have to
06:07:    decide whether or not the secondary
06:10:    information they could gather would be
06:12:    sufficient to make decisions upon or
06:14:    whether they're in need of more targeted
06:17:    information a need for targeted
06:20:    information would create the need for
06:22:    conducting primary research in that case
06:26:    French cakes would have to consider the
06:28:    different kinds of information they
06:30:    could collect by a primary research and
06:33:    whether or not they have both the time
06:35:    the money the people and the skills
06:38:    required to carry out relevant primary
06:41:    research no two cases are the same but
06:44:    if time money and competencies allow a
06:47:    combination of secondary research and
06:50:    carefully designed primary research is
06:52:    often the optimal solution as marketers
06:56:    we would usually recommend conducting
06:58:    the secondary research first and primary
07:01:    second this is to make sure we spend our
07:05:    resources wisely we have now established
07:09:    a connection with the rest of the
07:11:    research analysis and strategic planning
07:13:    process and subsequently we have used an
07:16:    example to illustrate what primary and
07:19:    secondary research is we have
07:21:    highlighted the pros and cons of each
07:23:    and how we can conduct these two types
07:25:    of research if you want to learn more
07:30:    about research analysis and strategic
07:32:    planning or about other marketing
07:34:    related subjects then I suggest that you
07:37:    watch additional videos on this channel
07:40:    to further support and substantiate your
07:42:    learning I recommend that you read
07:45:    market research and statistics by 4-band
07:48:    others as well as principles and
07:50:    practice of marketing by Java and if
07:53:    you're able to read Danish international
07:55:    markets viewing via all is Anacin and
07:58:    others my name is Tina Wade thank you
08:05:    for watching

 

Video activity 2: Qualitative vs quantitative research

have you ever been interviewed, have you ever filled out a survey? if you've done
both then you've participated in qualitative and quantitative research. Come on pack up your bags and get on the
bus because we're about to journey through qualitative and quantitative
research ba-da-da-da welcome to another journey with Chris where we will obtain
new levels of knowledge and awesome nerves.
Hello scholars, today we're going to journey through the basics of
qualitative and quantitative research. On our journey we're going to compare the
characteristics of both kinds of research including their purpose.
Research questions, hypothesis, data analysis and final reports. Let's talk
about the purpose of both types of research the purpose of qualitative
research is to explore the meaning of people's experiences, the meaning of
people's cultures, the meaning of how people view a particular issue or case
known as a case study, but the purpose of quantitative research is to examine the
relationship between variables. Let's define a variable: a variable is a
characteristic we'll talk more about this in just a second but for this class
we're going to learn about three kinds of variables, independent, dependent and
extraneous. Independent variables are variables or characteristics that are
manipulated by the researcher. Dependent variables are characteristics that are
impacted by that manipulation of the independent variable.
Extraneous variables are variables that are extreme as to what the researcher is
really trying to focus on and they're usually demographic information,
information such as age, sex, race, ethnicity things like that. So let's say
a researcher makes a poster that says "hey you probably got some of you or
other people's pee or poop on your hands so wash your hands". The researcher puts
up a poster, puts up that poster in one bathroom and doesn't put it in another
bathroom, then the researcher watches to see if more people wash their hands
after peeing or pooping who were exposed to the poster compared to those who were
not exposed to the poster. It turns out that more people wash their hands who
went to the bathroom where the poster was. The independent variable in this
study is the poster on the wall. It was manipulated by the researcher. The
dependent variable was the characteristic of hand-washing; it was
the effect of there being or not being a poster in the bathroom, Some extraneous
variables are the people in the bathrooms, age, sex, race, ethnicity and so on. The
point of the study was to examine the relationship between these variables.
More hand washing, the dependent variable, took place in the bathroom that had the
poster which was the independent variable. Let's talk about research
questions. Since qualitative research is exploratory in nature,
qualitative research questions usually start with the words "what" or "how" since
these words imply discovery or exploration, excuse me, for example a
qualitative research question could be water college students experience in
trying to eat healthy on campus or how two college students celebrate the sub
cultural holiday of 4/20. Because qualitative research is exploratory, it
typically does not have a hypothesis which is a prediction. In a nutshell,
qualitative research tries to explore not predict participants views. Similar
to qualitative research, quantitative research questions can start with the
words "what" or "how" but they might also include the word "does" in the beginning
of the question. In descriptive quantitative research, research questions
ask how much, how often, what's the relationship between variables, what's
the difference between the variables, for example what percent of male college
students wash their hands after using campus bathrooms or what is the
relationship between college student gender and hand-washing practices after
using campus bathrooms. In experimental research questions, research questions,
this is where they might start with the word "does" such as "does hand-washing
increase when the poster is placed in the campus bathroom".
Compared to qualitative research, quantitative research does have
hypotheses or predictions about what will happen in the study.
Typically, in qualitative research, researchers collect more than one type
of data in order to get a better, more holistic picture of what's going on in
the field. The data used in qualitative research is almost always, it in, what people say or
their words. This data usually comes from interviews, documents like newspapers or
journals etc., observations and audio-visual materials like videos or
audio recordings. Researchers usually obtain multiple types of these kinds of
data in order to answer a research question. All of this data comes from in the field,
which means the natural settings where participants are. In qualitative research,
researchers go into the field and spend a lot of time there interviewing and
observing the participants in their environments. It's also important to note
that surveys or questionnaires are also known as instruments. Well, in qualitative
research there are no instruments, no surveys. In qualitative research, the
researcher is the instrument. What this means is that the researcher acts as an
instrument. The researcher is kind of like a Living Survey. They ask all the
questions and make observations instead of relying on surveys to gather data.
It's also important to note that a hallmark of qualitative research is its
emergent design. This means that the way in which the study is conducted can
change during the study during qualitative research. It may become
apparent that other forms of data from other groups of people should be
included into the study, for instance let's say the researchers studying
college students experience trying to eat healthy on campus. Originally, the
researcher has planned to just interview a bunch of students, but let's say that
the that during the interviews the students keep talking about the ice
cream area of the cafeteria and Student Union, how there's over 400 kinds of ice
cream and you have to walk around the ice cream to get to the apples, and on
and on and about the ice cream bar. Well, the researcher here is enough students
talk about this crazy ice cream bar that the researcher decides that
observational data should be included in the study. She needs to see the ice cream
bar for herself and see how it overshadows the Apple bed. She needs to
see why everyone's talking about this crazy ice cream bar so the research
design emerges and different kinds of data might be collected. As the study
goes on, the data for quantitative research is in the form of numbers. These
numbers usually come from what people check off on instruments which are
surveys or questionnaires or observational checklists and so on, so
qualitative research looks at words. Quantitative research looks at numbers. 
Let's talk about analysis. In qualitative research, analysis is all about creating
themes; researchers read their interviews, look at documents, observations and
audio-visual materials and then they organize all of that data, all of those
words into themes. This can take a considerable amount of time;
there are often pages and pages of interview transcripts to read, for
example it's a researcher interviewed students about their experience eating
healthy on campus, from the interview there are over 80 pages of interview
text to read, From those pages the researcher was able to group the data or
analyze the data, group into three major themes which were students believed that
there was a lack of healthy options on campus, the students believed the healthy
options were too expensive and they believed they felt that unhealthy
options were just too tempting. It's important to note here that qualitative
research is inductive in nature, that means that the research questions, the
data collection, the analysis and all that stuff is not based off of a theory
or preconceived notions that their researcher has. The researcher lets the
data speak for itself and form itself into themes without the bias of an
existing theory or existing ways of thinking about things already. On the
other hand, in quantitative research analysis involves the use of statistics
to crunch numbers and figure out what those numbers mean in terms of answering
research question. Qualitative research looks at themes, quantitative research
and analysis crunches numbers, statistics. Quantitative research is also usually
deductive. It's based from existing theories and information that's already
out there. To help form research questions and how data is collected and
how its analyzed, Let's talk about the final report in qualitative research; the
final report is usually narrative in nature. The authors will sometimes write
in the first person, it's more interpretive and it contains a lot of
writing and it has direct quotes from participants. The final reports for
quantitative research are more rigid in form and it's more in the form of a
statistical report. In conclusion, there are noteworthy differences between
qualitative and quantitative research in terms of their purpose, research
questions, data analysis and so on. This video is just an intro to each
style of research. We're going to go into way more depth as the semester continues
with each form of research so thanks for a great journey and I'll see you in
class.