Triangulation: a balanced approach

Triangulation is a multiple test method to arrive at a conclusion in research. You can follow one method of analysis to come to an end result. But that result may not be valid or reliable if it is not proved in more than one way. That is where triangulation comes into picture.

The biggest advantage of triangulation is that it gives varied perspective and hence a deeper view of the problem or situation under research. Multiple methods complement each other to give more information.

Having just one method for research promotes bias or preferences. In many methods of research like Quantitative, Qualitative, Interviews, Analytic, etc. bias tends to creep in which cannot be avoided. As a researcher you should be aware of it and the effects it will have on the end result. Hence it is better to follow triangulation to minimize the bias.

Some points to keep in mind while following triangulation are as follows.

  • Have two totally different methods for research. This will help in balancing out the information you gather from both the sources.
  • Organize a team to work on the project. This will give two different approaches and views making your project more complete.
  • Design a layered approach to research. Start with a broad perspective and then channel down to the actual problem or issue.
  • Have feedback built into your research method. If it means going back and re interviewing participants it should be done. Analyze the process as you go through it and make appropriate changes in the method.

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