Life used to be simple – qualitative research had small samples and offered in-depth understanding; quantitative had large samples that allowed you to test, compare, and be statistically confident in your conclusions.
Quantitative research requires known questions and a known universe for its sample design. It aims to represent the target market. No matter how tightly you specify recruitment for qualitative research, it cannot technically be representative unless the sample is very large, or the universe is very small. So what is it for then? How is it valid?
With new online methods such as social media listening and communities, the link between sample size and depth has been broken. So all the more need to understand what you can achieve with each approach. You can think of quantitative as looking at people from the outside. Qualitative takes more of an insider perspective. But there is more to it than that.
For a more detailed, traditional comparison of qualitative and quantitative, including validity, download here: Overview of qualitative and quantitative
Title: Understanding 21st Century Qualitative research
Length: 5 minutes