Qualitative research design looks at open-ended questions on study topics that can’t be measured. It is commonly explanatory based on investigation and evidence. Quantitative research design involves gathering and statistically analyzing information that can be measured or quantified. Data is usually represented as tables, charts and graphs. Both of these designs are needed to understand research problems, and they both have their strengths and weaknesses (Qualitative and Quantitative Research Techniques for Humanitarian Needs Assessment, 2012).
Quantitative research design provides statistical estimates, the opportunity for uncomplicated data analysis, verifiable and comparable data from different communities within various locations. In addition to this, quantitative research design provides data which doesn’t require analytical judgment beyond consideration of presentation of information in the dissemination process (Choy, 2014).
Some of the weaknesses in quantitative research design are mostly strengths in qualitative. There are gaps in information since the issues in the secondary data collection are never included in the analysis. Quantitative analysis requires intensive labor especially when it comes to data collection (Qualitative and Quantitative Research Techniques for Humanitarian Needs Assessment, 2012).
Qualitative research design is equally important since data collected has detailed information about the research topic, it provides perspectives of specific social and cultural contents, and it provide an in-depth analysis of the impact of a particular study. Also, it requires minimum respondents in the collection on data which can be carried out with limited resources (Choy, 2014).
Having its strengths, qualitative research cannot provide verifiable data, requires intensive labor in data analysis and it requires skilled interviewers to carry out primary data collection (Qualitative and Quantitative Research Techniques for Humanitarian Needs Assessment, 2012).
It is imperative to understand the applications of the two approaches in research. This can, therefore, help you to choose the appropriate research method, figure out why a researcher has chosen a particular design or communicate with researchers about a research design and your overarching research strategy
Choy, L. T. (2014). The Strengths and Weaknesses of Research Methodology: Comparison and Complimentary between Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. IOSR Journal Of Humanities And Social Science (IOSR-JHSS).
Qualitative and Quantitative Research Techniques for Humanitarian Needs Assessment. (2012). better assesment beter aid