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research definition

Home Market Research

What is Research: Definition, Methods, Types & Examples

What is Research

The search for knowledge is closely linked to the object of study; that is, to the reconstruction of the facts that will provide an explanation to an observed event and that at first sight can be considered as a problem. It is very human to seek answers and satisfy our curiosity. Let’s talk about research.

Content Index

What is Research?

What are the characteristics of research.

  • Comparative analysis chart

Qualitative methods

Quantitative methods, 8 tips for conducting accurate research.

Research is the careful consideration of study regarding a particular concern or research problem using scientific methods. According to the American sociologist Earl Robert Babbie, “research is a systematic inquiry to describe, explain, predict, and control the observed phenomenon. It involves inductive and deductive methods.”

Inductive methods analyze an observed event, while deductive methods verify the observed event. Inductive approaches are associated with qualitative research , and deductive methods are more commonly associated with quantitative analysis .

Research is conducted with a purpose to:

  • Identify potential and new customers
  • Understand existing customers
  • Set pragmatic goals
  • Develop productive market strategies
  • Address business challenges
  • Put together a business expansion plan
  • Identify new business opportunities
  • Good research follows a systematic approach to capture accurate data. Researchers need to practice ethics and a code of conduct while making observations or drawing conclusions.
  • The analysis is based on logical reasoning and involves both inductive and deductive methods.
  • Real-time data and knowledge is derived from actual observations in natural settings.
  • There is an in-depth analysis of all data collected so that there are no anomalies associated with it.
  • It creates a path for generating new questions. Existing data helps create more research opportunities.
  • It is analytical and uses all the available data so that there is no ambiguity in inference.
  • Accuracy is one of the most critical aspects of research. The information must be accurate and correct. For example, laboratories provide a controlled environment to collect data. Accuracy is measured in the instruments used, the calibrations of instruments or tools, and the experiment’s final result.

What is the purpose of research?

There are three main purposes:

  • Exploratory: As the name suggests, researchers conduct exploratory studies to explore a group of questions. The answers and analytics may not offer a conclusion to the perceived problem. It is undertaken to handle new problem areas that haven’t been explored before. This exploratory data analysis process lays the foundation for more conclusive data collection and analysis.

LEARN ABOUT: Descriptive Analysis

  • Descriptive: It focuses on expanding knowledge on current issues through a process of data collection. Descriptive research describe the behavior of a sample population. Only one variable is required to conduct the study. The three primary purposes of descriptive studies are describing, explaining, and validating the findings. For example, a study conducted to know if top-level management leaders in the 21st century possess the moral right to receive a considerable sum of money from the company profit.

LEARN ABOUT: Best Data Collection Tools

  • Explanatory: Causal research or explanatory research is conducted to understand the impact of specific changes in existing standard procedures. Running experiments is the most popular form. For example, a study that is conducted to understand the effect of rebranding on customer loyalty.

Here is a comparative analysis chart for a better understanding:

It begins by asking the right questions and choosing an appropriate method to investigate the problem. After collecting answers to your questions, you can analyze the findings or observations to draw reasonable conclusions.

When it comes to customers and market studies, the more thorough your questions, the better the analysis. You get essential insights into brand perception and product needs by thoroughly collecting customer data through surveys and questionnaires . You can use this data to make smart decisions about your marketing strategies to position your business effectively.

To make sense of your study and get insights faster, it helps to use a research repository as a single source of truth in your organization and manage your research data in one centralized data repository .

Types of research methods and Examples

what is research

Research methods are broadly classified as Qualitative and Quantitative .

Both methods have distinctive properties and data collection methods .

Qualitative research is a method that collects data using conversational methods, usually open-ended questions . The responses collected are essentially non-numerical. This method helps a researcher understand what participants think and why they think in a particular way.

Types of qualitative methods include:

  • One-to-one Interview
  • Focus Groups
  • Ethnographic studies
  • Text Analysis

Quantitative methods deal with numbers and measurable forms . It uses a systematic way of investigating events or data. It answers questions to justify relationships with measurable variables to either explain, predict, or control a phenomenon.

Types of quantitative methods include:

  • Survey research
  • Descriptive research
  • Correlational research

LEARN MORE: Descriptive Research vs Correlational Research

Remember, it is only valuable and useful when it is valid, accurate, and reliable. Incorrect results can lead to customer churn and a decrease in sales.

It is essential to ensure that your data is:

  • Valid – founded, logical, rigorous, and impartial.
  • Accurate – free of errors and including required details.
  • Reliable – other people who investigate in the same way can produce similar results.
  • Timely – current and collected within an appropriate time frame.
  • Complete – includes all the data you need to support your business decisions.

Gather insights

What is a research - tips

  • Identify the main trends and issues, opportunities, and problems you observe. Write a sentence describing each one.
  • Keep track of the frequency with which each of the main findings appears.
  • Make a list of your findings from the most common to the least common.
  • Evaluate a list of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats identified in a SWOT analysis .
  • Prepare conclusions and recommendations about your study.
  • Act on your strategies
  • Look for gaps in the information, and consider doing additional inquiry if necessary
  • Plan to review the results and consider efficient methods to analyze and interpret results.

Review your goals before making any conclusions about your study. Remember how the process you have completed and the data you have gathered help answer your questions. Ask yourself if what your analysis revealed facilitates the identification of your conclusions and recommendations.

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[ ri- surch , ree -surch ]

recent research in medicine.

Synonyms: study , scrutiny

  • a particular instance or piece of research.

verb (used without object)

  • to make researches; investigate carefully.

verb (used with object)

to research a matter thoroughly.

Synonyms: scrutinize , examine , inquire , study

/ ˈriːsɜːtʃ; rɪˈsɜːtʃ /

  • systematic investigation to establish facts or principles or to collect information on a subject
  • to carry out investigations into (a subject, problem, etc)

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Derived forms.

  • reˈsearcher , noun
  • reˈsearchable , adjective

Other Words From

  • re·searcha·ble adjective
  • re·searcher re·searchist noun
  • prore·search adjective
  • under·re·search verb (used with object)

Word History and Origins

Origin of research 1

Synonym Study

Example sentences.

The duo spent the first year in research and engaging with farmers.

Dan Finn-Foley, head of energy storage at energy research firm Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, compared Google’s plan to ordering eggs for breakfast.

Users will give Deep Longevity the right to conduct anonymized research using their data as part of the app’s terms and conditions, Zhavoronkov said.

There’s also the Wilhelm Reich Museum, located at “Orgonon” in Rangeley, Maine, which was previously Reich’s estate—where he conducted questionable orgone research in the later years of his career.

When we started doing research on these topics, we were too focused on political institutions.

Have you tried to access the research that your tax dollars finance, almost all of which is kept behind a paywall?

Have a look at this telling research from Pew on blasphemy and apostasy laws around the world.

And Epstein continues to steer money toward universities to advance scientific research.

The research literature, too, asks these questions, and not without reason.

We also have a growing body of biological research showing that fathers, like mothers, are hard-wired to care for children.

We find by research that smoking was the most general mode of using tobacco in England when first introduced.

This class is composed frequently of persons of considerable learning, research and intelligence.

Speaking from recollection, it appears to be a work of some research; but I cannot say how far it is to be relied on.

Thomas Pope Blount died; an eminent English writer and a man of great learning and research.

That was long before invention became a research department full of engineers.

Related Words

  • exploration
  • investigation

Cambridge Dictionary

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Meaning of research – Learner’s Dictionary

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  • There is the potential for some really interesting research.
  • She has done research into how children acquire language .
  • The appeal raised over £2 million for AIDS research.
  • This report echoes some of the earlier research I've read .
  • The government has committed thousands of pounds to the research.

(Definition of research from the Cambridge Learner's Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

Translations of research

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