Quantitative Research

Today there are many approaches to gathering quantitative data, including telephone interviews, Internet-based self-administered questionnaires, and central location tests. Regardless of the methodology, key elements in CDRI's approach to any quantitative research project include:

  • Careful selection of the best methodology. One methodology does not fit all. We base our recommended approach to collecting quantitative data primarily on the type of respondents and the amount and type of data required. However, based on the project, we also consider, for example, timeline, budget, and security issues.
  • Attention to sample design. Sample design is a key factor in both the quality of the data and the research budget. We work with our clients to identify the right sample, be it a pure random sample, a sample from a customer database, or a targeted sample designed to yield a specific type of respondent. Then we work with data collection to be sure the sample is properly administered.  
  • Intelligent, well-written, and logical questionnaire design.  A well-designed questionnaire is critical to quantitative research. There are three ingredients to a well-designed questionnaire:
    • A clear understanding of the research objectives and the product, concept, or issue.
    • An ability to write clear, intelligent questions using language common to the survey's respondents.
    • Attention to the questionnaire's flow & logic so respondents are only asked appropriate questions and not asked those that do not pertain to their situation.
  • Pre-testing of all questionnaires. Pre-testing typically adds one to three days to the time required for data collection to begin. It is time well spent. Pre-testing ensures that:
    • Questions are worded properly and answer categories are appropriate.
    • Questionnaire flow is easy and transitions from question to question make sense.
    • Questionnaire length is what has been agreed upon and budgeted for.
  • Programming of questionnaires. Regardless of the quantitative approach taken, programming of the questionnaire is one of the most important means of ensuring consistent, quality interviews. Programming typically automates sample administration, ensures only qualified respondents complete the interview, and enables the seamless administration of all skip patterns.
  • Graphical, color presentation of results. We don't want information our clients can use to make decisions to get buried in a long table of figures, so we make extensive use of color graphics in our reports and presentations.
  • Statistical analysis that answers our clients' questions. Most quantitative analysis begins with cross-tabulations. However, depending on our client's needs, we can conduct a complete array of statistical procedures, including tests of significance, regression, correlation, factor, and cluster analysis. When needed, Dr. Nick Maxwell, our consulting statistician, is available to perform advanced statistics to assist our clients in identifying complex relationships in quantitative data. Dr. Maxwell has the ability to choose the right analysis to transform highly complex data into practical information that our clients can really use to make decisions.