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Research with large or many datasets that describe ‘what’ happens, rather than ‘why’ it happens.


  • To help understand what (not why!) is already happening in a community, or around an existing policy, product or service.
  • To analyse large or many data sets with quantitative data.
  • To uncover insights about behaviour and interaction through analysis of quantitative datasets.

What you get

  • Research insights that describe what is happening around an existing policy, product or service.
  • Insights that help scope or size qualitative insights.


  • Can provide insight into use and behaviour across large groups, products or services


  • Difficult to determine reasons (the why) for what the data describe
  • Correlations may be found for unrelated phenomena.


Quantitative research should always be informed by qualitative research. Starting with qualitative research helps understand what is important to a community or group. It helps understand which correlations matter. Quantitative research requires the ability to analyse data. Consider if / how to involve the business insights team as needed.

Tools and resources

Reviewed 04 January 2021

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