Both exploratory and descriptive research have their place in forming a better understanding of a problem or issue, and understanding the difference between the two can make your research more targeted and effective.
A research design is the framework or plan for a study used as a guide in collecting and analysing data. There are three basic types of research design: exploratory, descriptive, and causal.
TYPES OF RESEARCH DESIGN
The names of the three types of research design describe their purpose very well. The goal of exploratory research is to discover ideas and insights. Descriptive research is usually concerned with describing a population with respect to important variables. Causal research is used to establish cause-and-effect relationships between variables. Experiments are commonly used in causal research designs because they are best suited to determine cause and effect.
The popular crime investigation television shows (e.g., CSI: Crime Scene Investigation) provide a fairly good illustration of the three types of research exploratory research Design in which the major emphasis Is on gaining ideas and insights.
Research design in which the major emphasis is on determining the frequency with which something occurs or the extent to which two variables recovery.
Research design in which the major emphasis is on determining cause-and-eff ect relationships.
Exploratory research is conducted to provide a better understanding of a situation. It isn’t designed to come up with final answers or decisions. Through exploratory research, researchers hope to produce hypotheses about what is going on in a situation. A hypothesis is a statement that describes how two or more variables are related. For example, if sales for a particular line of vehicles dropped during the latest quarter, as a researcher you might use exploratory research to provide insights about what caused the decrease in revenue. Suppose that you conducted interviews with potential car buyers and noticed that they seemed to be more excited about the new styles of other car brands than they were about the brand in question. This might lead to the hypothesis that style preferences had changed, resulting in lower sales. You can’t really confirm or reject the hypothesis with exploratory research, though. That job is left for descriptive research to better understand what is happening and why it is happening. Sometimes, however, managers know a lot about the situation—they understand the key issues and know what questions need to be asked—and the focus quickly shifts to descriptive research that is geared more toward providing answers than generating initial insights. Unlike crime investigations, however, in business situations managers are often perfectly happy with a “most likely” result produced by descriptive research. Only occasionally do they choose to establish cause-and-effect relationships through causal research.
Exploratory VS Descriptive
Although research might initially seem like a simple gathering of information, it is essential to understand different methods to be an effective researcher.
Exploratory and descriptive research are important elements in fields such as marketing, technological and educational research and the social sciences.
Researchers employ exploratory research when little is known about the topic and previous theories or ideas do not apply. For example, if you wanted to study how to get students to use the computer lab in a college environment, you might first have to do exploratory research to figure out which students might need the lab and what appeals to this demographic. Exploratory research clarifies problems, gathers data and creates initial hypothesis and theories about subjects. The primary point of exploratory research is to give researchers pertinent information and help them to form initial hypotheses about the subject.
Descriptive research is done with a specific research question in mind. It gives a set view of the subject, population, market segment or problem. An example of descriptive research would be a report that provides an age and gender breakdown of the users of a particular online service. Descriptive research provides research questions, populations or methods of analysis before the research is started. In marketing, it often consists of longitudinal studies, which study the behaviour of individuals over time, and cross-sectional studies, which examine many populations at one specific time.
How Exploratory and Descriptive Research Work Together
Exploratory research must happen first for descriptive research to be effective. The latter organizes the data and hypotheses found during the exploratory process. Researchers must spend the necessary time in exploratory research before moving on to the descriptive phase.
Section B _Group 7_Yogesh Sham Gupta_13PGP117
Other Members: Amrit Jain, Ankit Saxena, Gugan N, Jyoti Kanwatia, Nitin Sonkar, Sonam Supriya, Sumit Ranjan