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Research is carried out using an elaborate research process in attempting to prove or answer a research question. The research process is normally designed to assume a linear approach or…
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Quantitative Data Analysis Quantitative Data Analysis This summary review will highlight quantitative data analysis as a tool used in research. Research is carried out using an elaborate research process in attempting to prove or answer a research question. The research process is normally designed to assume a linear approach or structure, but due to the intricacies involved therein, the process, in most cases, is not straightforward. During research, collected data are subjected to both quantitative and qualitative analysis (Seale 2004).
Quantitative data analysis is a research method that assumes a systematic approach to numerical data collection. Bryman defines quantitative data analysis as the process through which a researcher transforms all the data observed or collected into numerical data. The method of analysis often answers questions, describes events, or a situation that the “how” and “what” questions apply. The method deals with measuring or attributes that are related to quantities (Bryman 2008).
Quantitative data analysis is applied to find evidence used to prove wrong or support a hypothesis or idea. The research method operates using three types of quantitative measures including nominal, ordinal, and interval. These measures provide certain advantages that are associated with their use during the analysis of data. Quantitative analysis utilizes statistical package for the social sciences (SPSS) to ensure accuracy of the results derived from the analysis. The data tool resembles a spreadsheet, but it has a different modus operandi. The statistical tool is preferred for analyzing data generated from social sciences research studies because it is tailor made for this task.
Quantitative analysis has a number of advantages that are associated with its application and they include:
1. Allowing for a wider study with enhanced generalization due to a larger number of study subjects
2. The method allows for accurate and objective summaries based on the summaries of the data that support or contradicts the hypothesis
3. The process uses standards, which allows for replication of a study. Replication of a study is an essential requirement of a research study
4. The method reduces the chance of the researcher’s bias influencing the results of the study. This makes the study more objective and makes the results or report of the study acceptable.
The greatest disadvantage associated with the research method is that it provides a limited description of the results rather than the usual description narrative that enhances human perceptions.
Bryman looks at a comparison of quantitative and qualitative data analysis methods with the view of their potential when they are integrated. The two levels of research approach research from different scopes of discourse and analysis. Though there are disagreements over the possibility of combining the two methods, a number of research approaches have employed a structure that closely resembles the quantitative/qualitative research approach (Bryman 2008).
The two types of research are fundamentally different and they have been described as explained; while quantitative analysis is considered rationalistic and positive qualitative analysis is considered naturalistic and constructivist. Because of these fundamental differences, the two analysis techniques are applicable in different stages of a research study (Sarantakos 2005).
In conclusion, quantitative and qualitative research methods are very different, but the two methods have attractive attributes that make them efficient when they are integrated in a study; while quantitative study is suitable for social life studies qualitative studies are used to analyze smaller aspects of behavior. Employing both methods in a research study that requires both methods will bridge the gulf that exists between macro and micro factors of research.

Reference List
Bryman, A., 2008. Social Research Methods, 3rd ed., Oxford University Press.
Sarantakos, S., 2005. Social Research, 3rd ed., Palgrave Macmillan.
Seale, C., 2004. Social Research Methods: A reader. Routledge. p 151. Read More
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