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Reflective Essay on Group Research Project (Quantitative, Qualitative Data Analysis and Hypothesis Analysis)


The document is a reflective essay of the groups’ research project concerning Woolworths and Coles supermarket popularity. Working on the project, there are various experiences and new ideas learnt. From the project, the research had no hypothesis and that could have impaired other readers’ ability to relate the problem and the findings. The research question however aided to guide the researchers in the absence of the hypothesis. The research employed both qualitative and quantitative data analysis, and combined different methods to obtain relevant answers from which the data findings could be analyzed, to generate information interpreted from the raw data. The two were incorporated to offer varying perspectives where possible, confirm each others’ findings and complement one another because of their limitations. Qualitative research provided comprehensive data in narrative forms whose acquired impression allowed better explanations to the concept of choice among students in evaluating supermarkets’ popularity. Quantitative research relied on variables that were statistically analyzed to interpret the findings.

Keywords: Hypothesis, Result, Qualitative Research, Quantitative Research, Result, Data Analysis, Research Questions, Research Methodology, Methods

Hypothesis analysis

Based on the research project no prior hypothesis was produced. This however does not make the project inefficient because there are those research conducts with necessarily having to frame the hypothesis. A hypothesis is a testable prediction that seeks to provide tentative explanation to the situation under study; from the results of the research then it would be possible to support or reject it. I have leant that if I included the hypothesis it would have been essential in guiding the research, to collect relevant data and information needed to solve the research problem. It also steers the researcher into critical thoughts shaped towards finding the solution and relates them with the research objectives. I understand that other than the author, most interested readers focus on the hypothesis and results to find the answer. Perhaps this is one major weakness of the research. However, with the help of the research questions, it covers up the hypothesis gap and gives the reader the main idea to relate with the results. In future it would be efficient to state clearly the hypothesis and the research question in their own section just as the findings and the discussion was made. With that it attracts the readers’ attention and saves them time of not going through the whole document.

What to do before choosing the research methodology

Before adopting any research methodology, I have learnt it is vital to review the research topic and understand what demands. Is it the type of a causal and effect problem or does it demand statistical measurements? It is also important to examine and comprehend the purpose of the formulated research questions and hypothesis. This is crucial in determining the research design you come to adopt. Although the project never had the hypothesis, the research questions and topic of research played a huge role in choosing the research methodologies and the methods for data collection.

Employing Qualitative data analysis (QDA)

This analysis is based on analytic ideas from what has been gathered. For the multiple researches that I have gone through, including this research project to determine the most popular supermarket between Woolworths and Cole, I have established that QDA gathers information of nonnumeric forms. In other words, it aims at explaining and interpreting behaviour (activities, why and how they do what they do) from the non numeric data collected. I came to learn that not every problem could be answered through quantitative methodology as it had its numerous limitations.

You would want to use QDA when engaging into an in depth explanation to understand the concepts, and diversify the responses while being more succinct. Woolworths and Coles research project employed the interviews/focus group questions designed to elicit critical information from their responses. However, I realize that it is only based on how deep, strategic and effective the designed questions are that would enable the respondent to provide substantial information. From what one gathers, you read/listen the responses depending on the coded format, capture the impression, review the earlier question that led to the analysis, categorize the information gathered, identify the patterns and connections from the categories and then interpret the data findings. This method can capture other information, which could be difficult using quantitative data. I leant that it is quite engaging and it often the type that does not necessarily require the use of a hypothesis. It is rather learning process where hypothesis is generated as the research proceeds.

Employing Quantitative data analysis

The most distinguishable difference with QDA is the ability of quantitative research to explain phenomenon using collected numerical data. I learnt that quantitative research could also answers to certain questions used in QDA, but in this case, mathematical based method (statistics) was crucial to deliver pictorial responses that confirmed most of responses from qualitative methods. It is much clear how to employ statistics to describe a sample of the population and calculate the distribution pattern of their behaviour. Using the method in the project, I had to explore and evaluate the different levels of measurement associated with it, to help respond to the questionnaires. For example, nominal and interval data (levels or measurement) were used in establishing age and gender, and satisfaction information, respectively. It is evident that quantitative data analysis is very efficient and effective when measuring variables to establish the existing relationships.

Unlike QDA, quantitative research works with a hypothesis and makes use of the data and findings to test the hypothesis. Establishing the popular supermarket between Woolworths and Coles employed mixed method (both quantitative and qualitative). This provided the opportunity to both methods to complement each other in their limitations. Since the project have a clear and supportive budget for this, it was possible to implement and consider the different perspectives.