Filed under: Intranets
All great intranet solutions, and indeed most great business solutions, rely on gathering information from and about the intended audiences, consumers, stakeholders or other groups of interest. Many believe that techniques which draw on large numbers of participants produce more credible results, but qualitative techniques are often the only way to get the information you need. Even with few participant numbers qualitative research can produce very robust results.
Why numbers can be great
Surveys have an appeal because they return numbers. Numbers give people a sense of certainty and in the right circumstances, this is useful. Numbers can make research easier and allow teams to:
- collect quantifiable information that can be simple to analyse
- quickly summarise vast amounts of information
- mine the data for interesting patterns that make for engaging visuals
- conduct sophisticated statistics where we can test ‘significance’ and even quantify our level of confidence in a result
Overall quantitative research allows us to describe what is happening:
- what are the demographics of our audience
- how many people visited our site
- how many searches were successful
Numbers are much less good at is answering why. Science relies heavily on using numbers to validate assumptions on why things are happening, but the numbers themselves do not provide insight.
[May article by Stephen Byrne, read the full article]