What is quantitative research?

Quantitative research is the collection of data, usually through a survey, that can provide organizations with a broad picture of a topic or potential problem. Consumer surveys and polls are examples of quantitative research.

How does quantitative research work?

  1. Numbers driven

    Quantitative research is all about statistics, while qualitative research focuses more on in-depth observation. It’s the calculator vs. the tape recorder. Survey responses are collected and the numbers are objectively presented for evaluation.

  2. Compare and contrast

    Quantitative research often involves looking at two variables to better understand how they might impact each other. For instance, if someone owns a house rather then rents what type of products are they likely to buy? Crosstabs allow for direct comparisons between two different groups of responders.

  3. Polls

    News outlets often use polls — a form of quantitative research — to gauge public opinion about political candidates or policy issues. Companies might use consumer polls to adjust marketing strategies or tweak product offerings.

Why quantitative research matters

  1. Paints a picture

    Quantitative research provides a picture of the landscape in which organizations are operating and allows them to adjust or tweak strategies based on consumer perceptions or behaviors. It leads to better investments in communications and marketing strategies.

  2. Identifies problems

    Quantitative research can provide a heads up to organizations if there’s an unforeseen problem with how they are marketing or delivering a product. By regularly surveying its consumers an organization can identify issues before they have a negative impact on operations or revenues.

  3. Testing and validation

    Quantitative research eliminates the need for assumptions. Organizations can test out new ideas or products and gather information to either validate their thinking or pivot in a different direction.