(selecting respondents to match certain criteria, e.g. socio-
emographic) the more cost-effective, and still reliable. While it
may seem most cost-effective to buy in a mailing list (which may
be sold as a "sample"), it is highly likely that the poor quality of
the list, and the resultant low response rate will produce highly
misleading and unreliable results.
A larger sample is better than a smaller one, but not in direct
proportion; for example, for the analysis to be twice as good, a
sample needs to be four times as large, and to be three times as
good, nine times as large. A professional agency will be able to
advise on the way to achieve the best balance between quality,
quantity and cost in sampling to produce reliable findings.
Quantitative Data Collection
Different methods are used to go ahead with a quantitative research
including telephone, postal , on-line and face-to-face methods . In
addition, observation studies are growing in
popularity. Each has its pros and cons, depending on the time and
budget constraints and objectives of the research. For example,
postal surveys or self completion surveys are likely to be
recommended only in certain circumstances.
Very distinct skills are required to undertake qualitative or
quantitative research effectively. Researchers have to be able to
design questions which are clear, consistently interpreted, widely
understood, unambiguous, meaningful, relevant and tightly defined
a more difficult task than it may appear to outsiders. In addition,
the full questionnaire must be capable of extracting rich and
relevant information which will help managers to make more
Therefore , the need is for smaller but focused samples rather than large random samples , which qualitative research categorizes data into patterns as the primary basis for organising and reporting results.
4."It certainly seems reasonable to suggest that one may have a better understanding of a community member's situation by reading a descriptive passage than just looking at demographic statistics"(Kruger,2003)