4 Digital Strategies to Facilitate Qualitative Data Collection
May 11, 2020
Like many people, you may be short on resources, time or energy for your qualitative data collection. The LiGRE team has looked at some digital data collection strategies that you can try now to further your thesis.
1. Creating a qualitative survey
An interview remains one of the most basic methods to enquire about participants’ experience. However, a well-designed questionnaire can also be an effective way to obtain large amounts of qualitative data for many subjects.
To create a qualitative questionnaire, use open-ended questions with plenty of space for participants to write personalized responses. Then, be sure to test the questions verbally with a few people. This will allow you to check if this format encourages participants to provide the information you are looking for. If you find yourself asking follow-up questions, you could add them to your online questionnaire.
When you create an online questionnaire, the order in which questions are asked is important for optimal completion by respondents. You will notice that most online questionnaires begin with simple multiple-choice questions. This gives the respondent the impression that the survey is easy and short, and is less intimidating than a question asking for a paragraph-long response at the outset. You should also take into consideration the length of your questionnaire. The shorter it is, the more likely it is to be completed.
At the analysis stage, you can export responses and codify them or carry out an analysis in the word cloud.
2. Conducting interviews and focus groups around the world
For certain subjects, contact with participants is important. Videoconferencing platforms available on the web enable you to conduct your interviews with people scattered around the world. This approach can help you to conduct research that draws heavily on the experiences of people living in other countries, provided language is not a barrier. There is a lot of software available to facilitate videoconferencing.
To recreate the impact of a focus group, you can use a similar technique and conduct it by videoconference. It is also possible to use the basic approach of a focus group, but without a time constraint. This type of discussion can last for several days and often has a format similar to a forum. Participants can express their ideas pertaining to covered topics when they have time, during a given period. However, this method generally promotes less interaction between participants. Conducting an online focus group has a lot of similarities with face-to-face versions, with a few variations.
3. Recruiting participants through… participation!
Distributing a 25-question long-form survey and placing it on social media may not provide you with the results you are looking for. To ensure that participants are motivated to respond to your study, take their time into consideration, based on the medium you are using to communicate with them. The content generally consumed on social media is easy to distribute, but users expect to consume it quickly and can be put off if too much is asked of them.
However, if you contact participants directly by email, they may be impacted and be ready to invest more time in your study.
Moreover, it may be interesting to combine a brief approach to a detailed approach to obtain better quality responses. A good example of this would be to distribute a short multiple-choice questionnaire on social media, where your ask participants to give you their email at the end, to participate in the second part of the survey. Then, contact qualified participants to complete a second, longer questionnaire, a videoconference interview or a focus group.
4. Pay attention to what internet users are already saying
Through blogs, forums and social media, internet users already actively discuss about a wide range of subjects! Why not use existing data sources to power your research?
This type of research is particularly useful to carry out thematic analyses related to a particular topic.To achieve this, you can use social media search engines that enable you to quickly find content related to that theme. Searches already exist owing to data on Twitter and other social media, such as these.
Get started with LiGRE
Social Science Research Careers in Canada
Qualitative research jobs involve analyzing and understanding how people and society think, act, and make decisions. People in qualitative research careers help companies, governments, people, and clients solve problems related to social sciences. This research plays a big role in business decision-making, policy-making, and more.
A Bachelor's Degree in sociology, anthropology, psychology, or a related field is often required for entry-level positions in qualitative research. There are different levels of social science degrees, including a Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, and Ph.D. The type of degree will determine the type of qualitative research career you will attain in the future. Read on to learn more about what you can do with these degrees.
What Do I Do With a Degree in Social Sciences?
A degree in social sciences can lead to qualitative research careers. These careers involve performing research to help businesses or clients overcome a challenge. This research includes focus groups, observation, and self-reporting through surveys, email, online forums, etc. Researchers present their findings, meet with clients to discuss the findings, and make recommendations that aim to improve the business or overcome an obstacle or challenge.
Qualitative researchers work in government, healthcare, financial services, media, technology, consumer goods, B2B, and more. Learn more about social qualitative research careers in Canada below
1. Market Research
Market research is the action of gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data about target customers or a target market. The data typically relates to a product or service and analyzes the past, present, and future customers of the specific product or service.
Market researchers help companies better understand their target customers’ preferences and needs and help businesses make informed decisions about developing, marketing, and distributing their products. This type of research can include interviews, observations, focus groups, surveys, and more. It also helps businesses connect with their audience, identify areas for growth, make data-driven decisions, and limit business risks.
2. Project Manager
A project manager is responsible for the planning and execution of an entire research project. They are responsible for every aspect of the project, including managing the team, resources, scope, and more. They must handle the day-to-day management of the project and are responsible for ensuring that the project is delivered both on time and on budget.
When it comes to research, they ensure that all standards for recruitment are in line with the company's policies and processes.
3. Policy Research
A policy researcher conducts research and analysis to help develop and implement public policies. They provide policymakers with recommendations on how to alleviate a problem and how certain policies and practices may influence the population. They work in many different settings, including government agencies, consulting firms, and non-profit organizations.
Policy research expands over a variety of issues and industries, including education, government, healthcare, criminal justice, and much more. They use research gathered from statistical analysis, reviews, interviews, and case studies to gather and analyze data. Once they gather the data, they provide policymakers with their findings and help them make informed decisions that will benefit society. They also use the data to better understand how policies affect certain members of society.
Sociologists use qualitative research methods to study human behavior and social interactions, including how certain social, economic, political, and religious groups behave. Sociologists study matters related to law, crime, wealth, poverty, and prejudice. They focus on studying societal issues that can help create positive change.
Sociologists perform research to test theories related to social issues, collect and analyze data, and study the growth of different groups and their interactions with one another in society. They help lawmakers, social workers, and educators solve social problems. They also help formulate public policy.
Anthropologists use qualitative research methods to study human cultures, societies, and languages. They study human behavior and culture through a variety of methods, including archaeology and linguistic analysis. Their findings help them better understand the cultural diversity of humans and how we interact with one another. They also study how different cultures change and how society is organized.
Anthropologists study the beliefs and practices of different cultures, biological characteristics of human populations, past human cultures, and the role language plays in society and culture. They typically work in government, universities, forensic science, museums, and more.
An economist studies theories based on economics. They research the relationship between resources and a society's production of them. This involves studying the production of goods, services, and resources.
Using this data, economists can draw conclusions about why consumers make certain decisions. They also interpret and forecast market trends and advise businesses and governments while recommending solutions to economic problems.
7. Political Scientist
A political scientist studies politics and government. They use various research methods to study political systems, policies, and behavior. Their research involves studying how societies are governed and how political power is exercised. They also study how policies are made and implemented and how society and groups interact with politics. Political scientists also consult on political issues and aid in the development and evaluation of public policy.
8. Historical Societies
Historical societies preserve and promote a community or region’s history. This often involves displaying and preserving historical items, artifacts, and documents in museums or other facilities. These societies also conduct research and publish articles and books on the history of a certain geographic area. They work to interpret and preserve a region’s history and educate the public about a region’s heritage, history, and identity.
The above qualitative research careers are just a few examples of the many types of jobs that involve qualitative research. The requirements for each job vary depending on the level of education required, the field, and the employer.
If you’re a qualitative researcher or are searching for qualitative analysis software to help you code qualitative data with ease, explore what LiGRE has to offer. Sign up for your free trial today!
Enjoyed this article? Here are three more to help you better understand qualitative research and social sciences.