Why conducting mixed methodology research can get you the most accurate information.
Whether you’re conducting qualitative or quantitative research, you will always need to collect data from a variety of sources to get a full and accurate picture of your research. Using a mixed methodology approach can ensure credible data, is more cost-effective than relying solely on CATI or F2F methods, and can reach a broader range of respondents.
Advantages of mixed methodology research
1. “Best of both worlds”
By combining the two types of data, you can benefit from both the detailed and contextualised insights of qualitative data, and the generalised and externally valid insights of quantitative data. The strengths of one type of data often mitigate the weaknesses of the other.
Quantitative research can struggle to include the actual experiences of participants, so adding qualitative data can deepen and enrich quantitative findings.
On the other hand, qualitative studies are often less generalisable and reflect only the experience of a small group of participants. Additional quantitative data can validate qualitative results.
2. Flexibility of method
Mixed methods are less bound to a particular discipline. You can design your studies more flexibly and combine aspects of different study types to derive the most informative results. Using several methods also helps to eliminate any potential biases that may exist in a given methodology or in the criteria used for selecting interviewees.
3. Reaching different demographics
With technology constantly advancing it is no wonder that reaching different demographics is becoming increasingly harder when sticking to one method of data collection.
For example, you may not be able to collect data from the older demographic if you solely rely on an online survey, as often they may not have the technical skills or equipment to complete a survey via text or email.
Disadvantages of mixed method research
1. More labour intensive
Mixed method research can be very labour-intensive. It takes a lot of time and effort to collect, analyse and combine two types of data into one research product.
2. Conflicting results
If an analysis yields conflicting results, it can be very difficult to interpret them in a mixed methods study. If your quantitative and qualitative results do not match, or if you are concerned about confounding variables, you may be unsure how to proceed.
Also, because quantitative and qualitative data take two very different forms, it can be difficult to find a way to systematically compare results. On the other hand, if your results from different methods and from qualitative and quantitative studies all appear to be telling the same story, it can give you increased confidence that your results are accurate.
Find the best mix for your study
While mixed methodology studies can be advantageous, they are usually more complex and difficult to conduct and analyse. What’s right for your study depends on your market, your subjects, the demographics you need to reach, and what information you need to uncover.
At TKW Research Group we pride ourselves on being a one-stop shop, as we are experts in data collection via CATI interviews, online surveys, mystery shopping, focus groups and F2F intercept.
Entrusting one company to be able to take on each component of a mixed method project creates a much more streamlined process, taking the pressure off managing each individual aspect of a project.