What is the difference between Qualitative and Quantitative Research?

[Sorry, this is a really long post, but I have been asked several times to explain the key differences between qual and quant. Here is my attempt to do that, but I would really appreciate comments from others.] Quite often we see references to qual and quant research merging, with larger samples being used for qual and unstructured data (such as pictures or videos) being used for quant. However, the claim that qual and quant are coalescing into a single entity is a mistake based on a lack of understanding about what qual and quant really are. This post highlights the essence of what qual and quant are, why they are different, and why it matters. Very simple definitions of qual and quant For many people a very simple, probably over-simplified, definition of qual and quant research is all they are ever going to need, so it is worth setting that out first – but remember this is not the full picture. Qual: a qual researcher typically uses unstructured information (such as the discussions in a focus group) to gain an understanding of why people do or believe something. Qual does not provide numbers that can be extrapolated to a […]

Two Scholarships on Offer for the QRCA Annual Conference

Guest Post by Ilka Kuhagen, Co-founder of Think Global Qualitative and founder of IKM, see her LinkedIn profile by clicking here. The QRCA Global Outreach Scholarship is a wonderful opportunity for qualitative researchers outside the US, UK and Canada to experience a QRCA annual conference. One Scholarship is awarded to a qualitative researcher in the early stages of their career, while the second is for a more senior practitioner who is well established in the industry. This year’s recipients will have the opportunity to come to New Orleans from 15-17th October 2014. QRCA is currently seeking candidates for two 2014 Global Outreach Scholarships: The Foundation Scholarship is awarded to a qualitative researcher who is relatively new to qualitative research, but is already establishing a career path in this field. For instance, they should have developed some experience of moderating group discussions and IDI’s and of analysing the results. The Advanced Scholarship is intended for a qualitative researcher who is already well established in their career, but wants to expand and deepen their knowledge of methods and techniques, and to maximize the value of the projects that they plan and execute for their clients. The Scholarships cover the cost of conference […]