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Quant & Qual: A Love Story

Quant & Qual: A Love Story

iModerate Author

Feb 13, 2013

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Being Valentine’s Day, we wanted to celebrate the love of research’s most revered couple – quant and qual. I was recently lucky enough to sit down with this perfect pair and talk with them about how they met, what they love about each other, and what makes their relationship so special.

Adam: Guys thanks so much for taking the time to chat with me today. We all know you two are head over heels for each other. Do you remember when you first knew it was meant to be?

Quant: Of course. I was at a little restaurant outside of Houston. I had just finished up getting data from 500 consumers about this silly restaurant ad. I was annoyed with the results as everything was still a little unsettled in my mind. And I hate grey areas. Anyway, through the door walks this beauty that looked so confident, so insightful…

Qual: I had just finished up some blue sky work with teens, and I needed a stiff drink. Out of the corner of my eye I saw him. Handsome, and polished from head-to-toe. But he looked a little lost. I was feeling daring, so I pulled up a chair and introduced myself.

Quant: Sure did. And we sat there chatting until they kicked us out. Turned out we were both in the research game. Me, I was into the hard stats. She was more, you know, “touchy feely.”

Qual: You will have to excuse him; he was never good with words. I think you meant to say enlightening and directional honey.

Quant: Exactly. And that was it; from that moment on we were inseparable. You could say that she “completed me”.

Qual: Oy.

Adam: Great story guys. So Quant, tell me, what do you love most about Qual?

Quant: Easy. She is always helping me discover more and better understand and appreciate the things that I have a tough time seeing on my own. When I’m struggling, she’s always there with a story or anecdote that makes me feel more confident and secure.

Adam: Wonderful. And you Qual?

Qual: Lets just say that before I met Quant, I really never had my feet on the ground. Sure, I was having fun exploring all that was out there, but I needed some stability, something to rely on. The ambiguity I knew before Quant wasn’t as freeing as one might think. He was the structure I needed, and just as I gave him a different perspective, he did the same for me.

Adam: So what makes your relationship so special?

Quant: Well, it’s going to sound a little black and white…

Qual: Shocker.

Quant: …But it’s because we make the best team. Her strengths are my weaknesses and vice versa. Together, I feel like we can solve anything, like there’s no question or issue can’t be answered or tackled.

Qual: Exactly. In the words of one of my favorite authors, Louisa May Alcott – “It takes two flints to make a fire.”

Quant: Yup, it’s 50-50 partnership, and the result is a perfect 100.

Adam: So what do you think your relationship has done for research?

Quant: I think the two of us coming together has benefited the industry in many ways. With us both on a study, there’s no missing piece. I provide the stats and Qual provides the story behind them. There’s no wondering what one of my numbers meant, or why a consumer said what they said. I don’t have to go back and do more studies and ask more questions. It’s all there, completely comprehensive. Also, on my own, things tend to get a little flat and long in the tooth for respondents, but when she is involved, everything is just more engaging.

Qual: That’s so sweet of you to say.

Adam: You guys are awesome. Thanks for taking the time to chat with me. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Quant: Thanks Adam, and for everyone looking for more information about what Qual and I can do for research when teamed up together, here’s a white paper you might enjoy.

Qual: Did you really end our love story interview with a free white paper download offer? I guess nothing is perfect.

Quant: Sorry dear.

iModerate Author

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  • Dr Wayland Roberts PhD

    Adam,
    As an American, doctoral level educated, social sciences research scientist (did my research design & statistical analysis education at the University of Arkansas’ Rehabilitation Education and Research Department & Its Rehabilitation Research & Training Center), heavily grounded in quantitative research, yet highly experienced in qualitative research and its value (I still love the Nudist analysis software), I enjoyed and appreciated your article. Much of the message that folks need to understand is found in your line: “Quant: Easy. She is always helping me discover more and better understand and appreciate the things that I have a tough time seeing on my own. When I’m struggling, she’s always there with a story or anecdote that makes me feel more confident and secure.”
    Well, should I say that all quantitative research MUST begin with qualitative methods. Much of the science of statistical analysis began because someone observed that crops grown differently (IVs) produced different qualities of crops (DVs). It has proven to be valuable to operationally define and assign numbers (measure) to these variables; what increases or decreases yields. The whole project would have never been started, however, without that initial qualitative observation, that something is making a difference. Oh, we get into a whole “trick-bag” of problems when we begin to define and differentiate hard data from soft data and determine what we can measure and what its relative value is; but it does all go together. This is why research projects need me on their consultant list, like a couple wishing to get married might seek a marriage counselor prior to marriage. The counselor introduces various issues that might affect compatibility, prior to the big commitment that most people want to last. The Dr. of Social Research can introduce the issues affecting compatibility and solutions that are tenable, prior to the big commitment, that we want to last a long time! Thanks.

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The results we received from the iModerate one-on-one, in-depth conversations were much more enlightening than what we typically garner from open-ended verbatim responses. The live moderator offers us the ability and flexibility to probe deeper on certain points, enabling us to get stronger, less vague information. That unique capability has proved extremely valuable to us, and has made this IM-based platform an integral part of our research toolbox.

Colleen Hepner, VP, C&R Research