The 4 Main Types of Research
Research is “the collection, organization, and evaluation of data especially for the purpose of improving knowledge of a subject”. It usually involves the compilation, organization, and interpretation of data especially for the purpose of improving knowledge of a given subject. A research project can be an extension on past research in the same field. Sometimes a project is initiated by a student, teacher, professor or other expert in the particular field. In most cases, the research is undertaken for financing, teaching, political action, or social welfare etc. Sometimes the projects are also started for gaining an edge over the existing competition.
In any research methodology there are two main types: quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative research simply uses measurements and statistics to identify and measure variables, while qualitative research concentrates on eliciting or describing qualitative data. Quantitative research methods usually use survey measures and ratings to collect data. Quantitative researchers use a range of tools such as surveys, meta-analyses, and theoretically based tests to support their statistical claims.
However, some qualitative research methods are empirical and rely only on direct observation. These types of research methods do not use a model-based approach. On the other hand, many quantitative researchers incorporate models into their methodology to create more informative and deeper insights. They try to maximize the use of statistical methods and results to draw new knowledge from the observed data.
Both theoretical and applied research must have an adequate beginning and end. A good foundation can be built from a number of different disciplines including anthropology, art history, business, computer science, medicine, engineering, health, humanities and economics. The foundation can be built upon a number of different areas such as philosophy, political science, sociology, psychology, biology, mathematics, physics, chemistry, astronomy etc. A strong foundation is necessary for a new theory or innovation to be properly tested. A weak foundation leads to incomplete research and makes it difficult to implement a new idea into a business strategy or product development.
A descriptive research focus on individual cases and the associated descriptive data collection. A good researcher collects relevant data, analyzes the data, and provides a description of the data found. A descriptive researcher is interested in studying a particular case or study as a whole rather than focusing on the details of the case. A descriptive researcher will also look at the bigger picture and interpret the meaning of the data. A good descriptive researcher is one who is interested in applying the theory to real world situations.
A strong empirical research method is often used to support the claims of the theory. An empirical research method is based on observations. It is more descriptive in nature than a qualitative research which relies on a model to support a conclusion. These two types of research styles are often used together. A qualitative analysis relies on qualitative methods, while quantitative research relies on quantitative methods.