Choosing the right type of questions to gather quantitative and qualitative data

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When designing a survey, there are two main types of data you can collect: quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative data is numeric in nature. It can be statistically analyzed. It is used for more confirmatory analysis. In other words, when you already have established ideas, quantitative data is best used to confirm these ideas. The types of questions that are best answered by quantitative data are “how” and “what” questions.

Ambivista’s Survey Suite offers various question types to collect quantitative data:

Multiple choice

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Matrix table

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Rank order

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Dynamic sum

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Side by side

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In contrast, qualitative data deals more with words, phrases, and sentences. It seeks to answer the “why” question in research. With qualitative data, you can gather incredibly rich data. It taps into reasons, motivations, and processes. However, such data does not lend itself to statistical analyses, but rather qualitative data analyses.

Ambivista’s Survey Suite offers a simply way to collect qualitative data—with text entry. If you are looking for a quick phrase or sentence, a single line response should be used. If you are looking for more of a paragraph, a multiple line response should be used. However, if you would like a more in-depth and thorough response, essay text is the best way to go.

Text entry

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Both quantitative and qualitative data offer value. For this reason, it’s sometimes best to combine them within a survey. If you need help designing the survey and selecting question types based on data, our Ph.D.-level consultants at Ambivista are here to help!

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