As the name suggests, a quantitative research questionnaire is typically about quantities, mathematics and the relationship between variables, while qualitative research is more about narrowing down the "whys" and "whats," or the qualities, of a particular venture. Either form of social research can be conducted via various types of surveys. In quantitative research, the questions are typically designed to produce numerical answers or short answers, such as "yes" or "no."

Why Companies Use Quantitative Research

The data collected from a quantitative research questionnaire can be used to gauge how much interest there is in your product or service, how many people know about your service and how often consumers purchase a particular product, for starters. Before going into business – or to better understand what you could do to improve the sales of an existing company – it's wise to gather helpful information about your industry and target market.

How to Do a Quantitative Research Questionnaire

Dig deep and be objective when you're trying to come up with suitable questions for your particular quantitative research questionnaire. Why do you need specific data? If you're after increased sales, for instance, form questions that help to draw out what your consumers want, what they don't want and, in turn, tell you what you're doing wrong. By trying to see the questionnaire from the participants' perspective, you should be able to collect relatively accurate data, which is the whole point.

Examples of Quantitative Research Questions

Again, quantitative research is chiefly about how you form the questions, and more so, the answers your questions will garner. The right questions should generate needed insight into your business, its structure and ways to make positive changes. For example, if you want to learn more about, say, the preferences of dog-kennel users, your questionnaire might ask:

  • How many dogs do you have?
  • How many times have you used the services of a dog kennel in the past three years? 
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is value to you?
  • On a scale of 1 to 10, how important is your dog's comfort when staying at a kennel?
  • How would you rate the importance of a kennel's cleanliness?
  • How many times per day do you exercise your dog?
  • How much are you willing to pay per day for a topnotch kennel with indoor and fresh-air facilities, multiple daily exercise activities, certified staff and medical care? 

In this scenario, when you approach potential participants to ask if they're willing to take part in your survey, your first question would, of course, be "Do you have a dog?"

Types of Quantitative Research Surveys

When you think of participating in a survey, what comes to mind? Maybe you imagine being approached at a mall or trade fair by a well-dressed guy with a pen and clipboard. Or possibly your thoughts go straight to telemarketing. Both of these methods can be used as forms of quantitative research. Also, you could do a quantitative research survey online, choosing an appropriate social-media site to run it from. For instance, if you're in the organic-farming business, choose a site where folks who are interested in organic food (your target market) gather to discuss related topics. Presenting a questionnaire in a fitting setting will help you get more accurate results and interest. To encourage participation, consider offering incentives, such as a discount coupon.

Test Its Validity 

Although the data collected from social research is not 100 percent reliable, it should result in helpful averages or estimates and insight into your market. To check the validity of the resulting answers, consider running the questionnaire twice – maybe once at a college and once at a mall, essentially, wherever you find large groups of people. By running the questionnaire two (or more) times, you can compare the results to ensure they're similar.