Types of Research
There are plenty of differences between quantitative and qualitative research. In short, quantitative focuses on numbers and statistics, and quantitative focuses on detailed case studies and opinions.
Quantitative is derived from the word quantity – meaning a number of something specific. In research and data quantitative is statistical and is more general than qualitative. Quantitative is used to gain a general sense of an answer from more than one source, so it would include data such as percentages, pie charts and bar charts, and other forms of gathered data of that kind. An example of of quantitative data I might use for my research is asking what people’s favourite director is. This would be useful as it would give a general answer as to who people feel is most influential as a director in the media industry. Knowing who people feel is the most influential film director is useful when researching for my programme as it would show what people feel is relevant to the media in industry.
Qualitative is derived from the word quality – this means that qualitative research is focused more in depth on specific cases, and also on opinion. This kind of research comes in the form of documentaries, case studies, reviews, focus groups and any other form of data that gives a deep insight into one or a few people’s experience or opinion instead of general statistics (quantitative). An example of qualitative data that could be useful for my programme is a detailed case study into the production of famous films by famous directors, such as Pulp Fiction directed by the famous Quentin Tarantino. This would be useful for my programme as it would show what went into such controversial films and what factors of these films and how they were produced made certain directors so famous. Another example of qualitative data is I could give a presentation to a focus group about the documentary I propose to make, and gain their opinion. Their opinion could provide me with the detailed data of what they like or dislike about my idea, contributions they may have and how it could be improved. I could then take this information and apply it to the making of my documentary.
Methods of Research
Primary and secondary research have one main big difference – where they are sourced and how.
Primary research is research conducted by the team or person conducting the project themselves. Its original and specific so the information found is most relevant and useful, so the researchers can find out specifically what they’re after without having to sift through other data to find the answers they want. Its also up to date, rather than a few days, weeks, months, years etc. old where the information may be inaccurate. This allows the data found through primary research to be accurate as possible. An example of primary research that could be useful for my programme is collecting data firsthand on what director people on my course or in my college think is the most influential and why. This is primary as its asking new and specific people. It’s useful for my programme research as it would give insight into what people of my age group think about the topic in question.
Secondary research is research conducted by other people and used by other teams and researchers. This research is often published for the public or specific teams with permission to use. Secondary research means saving time on research if it has been already conducted, so is useful for projects with time to manage. Secondary research is also less expensive than primary research as it costs less than going out and paying people for information and/or resources. An example of secondary research that might be useful for my programme research is gathering data on how many people in an area or group have seen any films by very famous directors. This would be useful for my research as it shows who has seen the controversial side of film and if people generally feel it is significant enough to spend time watching.
Purposes of Research
There are differences between audience, market, and production research.
Audience research is research into the target audience of your product or programme. You can classify them through finding out the general kinds of characteristics they may have and preferences, such as age, gender, interests, do they prefer indie films or blockbusters etc. By using audience research and classification you can target your product to suit the audience’s preferences and make it appealing to them. When researching my programme it would be useful to use audience research to find out what preferences they have in terms of what kind of film they watch. This would be useful as it could indicate whether or not they may have seen the films directed by the directors that I will research. I could also find out through audience research as to what methods of advertisement appeal to them most, so I can use these methods to promote my documentary such as TV adverts, radio adverts or billboards.
Market research is research into a certain market, and how that market usually targets an audience and gain consumers. That way a trade can know how to market their product or programme effectively. It also provides knowledge into how to gain an audience and profit. When researching for my programme it would be useful to conduct market research into how to gain an audience through marketing, that way I would know how to conduct my research so that it is interesting to the target audience.
Production research is research into the actual production of a product or programme. It’s research into the process of how something goes from an idea to a finished project, and the steps and costs involved. By conducting production research I can find out how to conduct my actual research effectively without much cost or time implication. An example would be finding out how much research is usually made before making a programme. In addition to this, I would need to know the facts and figures of factors such as hiring a film crew, location hiring, editor hiring, equipment hiring and the cost of airing my programme.