Why Is Qualitative Analysis So Misunderstood?

A reality that some of us who do market research face is the undervaluation that qualitative analysis suffers. There are analysts who believe that the data obtained through dozens or hundreds of interviews and the quantitative analyzes derived from them are more useful and practical. However, both approaches are not exclusive and feed into each other.

We know that it is difficult to find arguments to justify qualitative studies. More when there are limited times and budgets. However, the benefits of qualitative analysis to rule out or test hypotheses should not be overlooked. Based on our experience, we share four reasons for not ruling out this type of qualitative analysis.

  1. Attention to details. When considering very few cases, it is possible to register a series of variables that are not part of the interview guides or questionnaires. The body language, the silences and the very presentation of the respondents in qualitative interviews give the expert researchers in this type of approach the same or more information and data that largely feed the list of findings.
  2. Form it is background. This maxim of Law also applies in our field. Subjectivity is invested with elements such as diction, vocabulary, accents, idioms, among others. The way people express themselves is also a variable to record and interpret. On some occasions, the responses that a quantitative questionnaire cannot record because it is a more structured and closed instrument can be resolved with a qualitative analysis.
  3. Silence is also an answer. In an age of data, some researchers do not, by virtue of their research design, admit blank answers or known «don’t know.» However, for qualitative studies these answers are as valuable as the others. They can reveal from a genuine ignorance of a subject, a fear to admit something that is considered improper or shame for appearing poorly educated.
  4. Flexibility. A common mistake in qualitative interviews is wanting to literally follow an interview guide. Covering all the questions, paraphrasing them literally and predisposing some answer options limit the naturalness with which a respondent could provide us with information that if the analyst is allowed to use her experience to tropicalize the measuring instrument tailored to each person. This is something that quantitative studies cannot achieve.

We understand that finding good qualitative analysts is difficult. That is why at Acertiva we put experts in this type of analysis at your fingertips. You want to know more? Too easy. Contact us through our different contact channels. Like the one you will find in the button at the end of this text. We are attentive to your messages.