The Association for Qualitative Research
The Hub of Qualitative Thinking

Sorting quant quandaries

The Linney team's quallies hared down from Mansfield for AQR's Breakfast Bites, and were pleasantly surprised not to find themselves drowning in numbers, graphs and statistics

Quantitative research is just a dull collection of statistical analyses and ugly graphs, right? Well, this was our understanding before attending AQR’s ‘Quant for Quallies’ Breakfast Bites session. As part of the Insight team at Linney, we foster a mixed methods approach in our research, so our interest in the ‘Quant for Quallies’ session stemmed from the need for all Insight team members to understand and feel confident discussing our broad research offering; quantitative and qualitative. So, myself and my colleague Katie (the ‘quallies’ in the team), signed up to expand our quantitative horizons.

Being honest, we expected a lot of numbers, graphs and statistics to form a large part of the session (including the devil program that is SPSS), but were pleasantly surprised by the content. The session taught us some useful techniques to incorporate into our research — for example, using video responses in quantitative surveys to add another level of richness to the insights.

Katie Hawkins was an excellent host. Her knowledge of both quantitative and qualitative research was extensive and she gave some very helpful advice in answer to all our questions. We really liked the combination of individual involvement and group activities, and felt we learned a lot from the others in the room, too. Katie also kindly put together a glossary of quantitative terms, a definite 'go to' for us quallies in the team, which we all took away with us, and shared her deck with everyone after the session.

The key take-home for us was the importance of a collaborative approach and the value of intertwining quantitative and qualitative methods at different points in the research journey. We left the session with new-found appreciation for quantitative research methods, and how these can be applied to projects to supplement qualitative findings. We will definitely apply our new knowledge to upcoming projects and it will give us something to think about when tackling future briefs.

 

Francesca Springhall
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