How to choose the correct research methodology?

– Nasir Afroze(Student-IIT B.H.U)

A research method is a systematic plan for doing research.

One of the most important tasks for a researcher is to choose the right methodology for the project.

1) The orientation of research- Either to use qualitative approach or a quantitative approach or a combination of both.

2) The tools of data collection

A qualitative approach as the name suggests is a subjective analysis. Brainstorming the data ( in the form of surveys)  that is collected to draw results. It supports a more in-depth understanding of the situation. But the major drawback of this technique is that the sample set which is being studied is small. So the deviation in data is not averaged out  and hence the results cannot be generalized. As it is subject to interpretation type of research so any kind of automation is not very helpful. Popular methods based on qualitative data include semi-structured or unstructured interviews, participant observations and document analysis.

The quantitative approach, on the other hand, is based on the principle that data can be measured ‘objectively’ with numbers. The data is analyzed through numerical comparisons and statistical analysis. The sample-set can be large enough so that the deviation in data is averaged out and it can be generalized. The results drawn from such methods are considered to be more scientific. In this method, automation can be done (using software)  extensively hence it is faster. Popular methods based on quantitative data include questionnaires and organizational statistical records among others.

To decide the methodology which is most suited for the project one should know what type of information he/she needs to confidently possess at the project’s conclusion.

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