Furthermore, without using exploratory research to guide the survey design and question building process, your entire research goals may be heading in the wrong direction. However, without any preliminary exploratory research to identify this, our survey will miss these issues. A focus group most commonly contains 8 to 12 people fitting the description of the target sample group and asks them specific questions on the issues and subjects being researched.
Sometimes, focus groups will also host interactive exercises during the session and request feedback on what was given. This depends on what is being researched, like a food sampling for a fast food chain or maybe a presentation of potential advertisements for an anti-smoking campaign. Focus groups continue to be one of the most common uses of exploratory research, providing researchers with a great foundation on where people stand on an issue.
The open and natural discussion format of a focus groups allows for a wider variety of perspectives in a shorter period of time. Beyond this, when it comes to designing your survey and research plan, it is usually not best to reinvent the wheel. All research strategies can benefit from reviewing similar studies taken and learning from their results. For example, if you are running your second annual customer feedback survey, look at the questions that were provided the most useful information and reuse them in your new survey.
External secondary research can also help you perfect your research design. Expert surveys allow us to gain information from specialists in a field that we are less qualified or knowledgeable in. It would ask broad open-ended questions that are designed to receive large amounts of content, providing the freedom for the experts to demonstrate their knowledge.
With their input, I would be able to create a survey covering all sides of the issues. All open-ended questions in your survey are exploratory in nature. Adding a few open-ended questions in surveys with large amounts of respondents can be somewhat difficult and time-consuming to sort through, but it can indicate important trends and opinions for further research.
So we learned how exploratory research works to give your survey and research design a better focus and significantly limits any unintended bias. As shown through our four different examples, this form of research functions best as a starting point for descriptive research.
Descriptive research, on the other hand, can measure your data statistically. That is why descriptive research is the next stop on our train ride through the different research methods.
Hi Yusuf, The answer to your question is that it depends on what your research goals are. Or are you asking open-ended questions to gain information on customer perception? Exploratory research is not defined based on the topic of your study, but instead on the information you are trying to find. If you want to do exploratory survey research on the topic, ask respondents to share their favourite parts of the event and areas where the event can be improved.
This is opposed to writing multiple choice questions that force the respondent to choose from a premade list of answers. This is extremely informative and so simple to understand for novice researchers like myself — I am currently working on my Msc dissertation proposal and the goal of my study is to generate data from nurses and explore their knowledge, perceptions, attitudes and beliefs in the use of music in an emergency department..
I have decided to use two focus groups with participants in each.. In the country I am living in such study has never been done and overall there is a dearth in European literature addressing this topic..
After reading your article my mind is clear that the most suitable design would be exploratory.. I am writing this first of all to thank you for your post and to please ask for your opinion on whether you feel I am on the right track?
I am glad that you found the article so helpful! Sounds like you are right on track in your exploratory research. Focus groups are definitely a great way to develop a better understanding of how a group feels on a topic. The following steps are not necessarily written in stone and can be altered as needed, but working to determine a structured process can make a difference in reaching the best possible outcomes. All research problems generally start in the same place: This information is often known prior to starting the planning process, but what questions you want to address in the course of your research may need to be clarified.
For example, if you are seeking information about a new approach to marketing your products, determining what you would like to learn — like implementation strategies, value, or long-term goals — is an important part of ensuring research is conducted efficiently and effectively.
Exploratory research, by nature, frequently involves talking with others who may have more information about what you would like to learn. Alternately, exploratory research can be used to vet new ideas and concepts with an unbiased, unaware market in order to judge neutral third party perceptions. As such, surveys and questionnaires are often the most popular tools in this kind of approach to exploration. By soliciting opinions, both novice and expert, marketers are better poised to receive a range of information that can then be enhanced.
Procedures in exploratory research can take numerous forms. In some cases, depending on timeline, budget, selected objectives, and the topic at hand, more than one approach may be employed. However, there is no right or wrong way to undertake research procedures, as long as an educated and well-reasoned plan is at the root of all objectives. After deciding how to employ research procedures, marketers must then move forward with collecting data.
How this is done will, of course, depend on the methods chosen. Focus groups can be compiled with unrelated third party individuals, perhaps from other local companies or community organizations willing to volunteer time. Secondary research can vary greatly by topic, but often comes in the form of academic papers, case studies, and industry newsletters and publications.
Feedback from focus groups, surveys, and previously available research can be reviewed for accuracy, viability, and topically relevant information in order to be incorporated into existing bodies of knowledge. For example, if focus groups assembled for the purpose of evaluating a new marketing campaign all remark on a perceived flaw, additional research or revamping may be necessary before moving forward. How results are interpreted is often based on the specific topic at hand, but when utilized and evaluated properly can lead to developments within a department and new ways to approach industry principles and ideas.
As in all studies, how you choose to proceed is ultimately up to you. Exploratory research is very valuable in terms of providing a preliminary basis in a subject, often in a way that draws no specific conclusions but instead offers up new frontiers for business development and additional research.
Some marketers will choose to make assumptions based on information gathered, while others will move on to a deeper exploration into the subject at hand. Although rarely does exploratory research stand alone in making business and marketing decisions, it is considered an invaluable step forward in the evaluation process. By providing a solid base of knowledge that can help eliminate bias and build a foundation for descriptive research, an exploratory study can be the first step toward big changes regarding what your organization is able to accomplish.
What Is Exploratory Research? Market Research Steps Exploratory research is much more open-ended than many alternatives, but that does not mean marketers should dive in without a game plan. Define the Problem All research problems generally start in the same place: Choose a Method Exploratory research, by nature, frequently involves talking with others who may have more information about what you would like to learn.
Disadvantages of Exploratory Research Exploratory studies generate qualitative information and interpretation of such type of information is These types of studies usually make use of a modest number of samples that may not adequately represent Findings of such type of studies are not usually useful in decision making in a practical level.
Exploratory Research is research conducted for a problem that has not been studied more clearly, establishes priorities, develops operational definitions and improve the final research design. Exploratory research helps determine the best research design, data .
exploratory research. Investigation into a problem or situation which provides insights to the researcher. The research is meant to provide details where a small amount of information exists. It may use a variety of methods such as trial studies, interviews, group discussions, experiments, or other tactics for the purpose of gaining information. Exploratory research is the initial research into a hypothetical or theoretical idea. It is the first step in learning about something. Somebody gets a new idea in their head, and it leads research in a new direction. Next, is descriptive research, which provides more elaborate descriptions and information.
In this lesson, you'll learn about a type of research called exploratory research. You'll achieve a general understanding of the topic through. Used properly, exploratory research will provide rich quality information that will help identify the main issues that should be addressed in our surveys and significantly reduce a research project’s level of bias.