market research

Jan 21 2016

Numbers or words? The qualitative vs quantitative debate

Over the past 20 years or so, a debate over the relative virtues of quantitative and qualitative methodology has gained considerable momentum. In the field of social research and evaluation, quantitative research has been considered as the more ‘traditional’ approach to addressing a research question. Decades ago, researchers advocating for the use of qualitative methods […]

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Nov 16 2015

Ice creams cause drownings. And other causal relationship myths

      Ice creams cause drownings. And there are numbers to prove it.  If you take the number of ice creams sold and compare it to the number of drownings there is clearly an upward trend. And it is therefore safe to conclude from this that we should ban ice cream because ice cream […]

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Aug 12 2015

4 ethical considerations in evaluation and research

Market research ethics refer to the moral guidelines or principles that govern the conduct of behaviour in the marketing research industry. Ethics is particularly important in marketing research. As a member of the Australian Market and Social Research Society (AMSRS), and the Australasian Evaluation Society (AES), I am committed to adhering to a moral framework […]

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Jun 29 2015

Sticking your neck out- choosing focus groups or individual interviews

Qualitative research provides researchers and evaluators with detailed information about attitudes, views, behaviour and preferences. Two common qualitative research techniques are focus groups (group discussions) and one-on-one interviews (also called in-depth interviews). The interactive nature of both of these approaches means that their success is dependent on the skills of the interviewer or moderator. There […]

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Apr 27 2015

The long and short of measurement

  The concept of measurement can be daunting. As a research and evaluation consultant I am often asked whether my approach will be ‘statistically significant’ or how reliable the outcomes will be. Here are a few basic elements of evaluation and measurement which should hopefully address some of these questions. The concept of measurement The […]

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Apr 13 2015

The Rule of Five. A quick and easy way to reduce uncertainty in business

Suppose you have a business dilemma or decision to make that seems insurmountable. The problem is complex and you don’t know where to start to begin to understand what to do. Douglas Hubbard, an internationally recognised expert in metrics, decision analysis and risk management, devised a simple example of a quick measurement anyone can do […]

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Mar 30 2015

The reliability of qualitative research

Reliability is a concept that refers to producing consistent results time after time. If you commission a qualitative research or evaluation project, how can you be sure it is reliable? Don’t you need statistics to make research reliable? No. Because, although the term ‘reliability’ is usually applied as a concept for testing or evaluating quantitative […]

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Mar 23 2015

You’re being watched. Observation methods in social research and evaluation

Observation is a systematic process of recording the behavioural patterns of people, objects and occurrences without questioning or otherwise communicating with them. It’s a bit like professional stalking, but with ethical and design limitations. The technique can be used as a tool for scientific enquiry when it serves a specific research purpose, is planned and […]

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Mar 15 2015

Unwillingness to answer. 4 reasons why people refuse to respond

If you’ve ever used a survey in a research or evaluation project, you may have encountered unanswered questions by some respondents. Even if respondents are able to answer a particular question, they may be unwilling to do so. There are usually four key reasons why respondents sometimes don’t answer questions in surveys. 1. It’s too […]

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Feb 8 2015

3 tips for good data collection

Collecting high quality data is essential to the success of any project or initiative. Funding providers and, especially, local project managers, often play important roles in data collection. There are several things that need to be considered to ensure that data collection processes and measurement systems are stable and reliable. Incorporating these into a data […]

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