One of the important ways of conducting a scholarly investigation for a dissertation is quantitative research. This refers to the empirical examination of a problem through statistical, mathematical and computational methods. This method of investigation can be found quite a lot in the social sciences. When researchers are using this method of research, it is very essential for them to state the methodology behind their data collection at the beginning of the project itself. This way the reader would know how exactly the data was gathered and what mathematical and statistical formulas were used to arrive at the conclusions. The researcher needs to pay careful attention to the process of measurement that he used for his work, and it is essential that he chooses the right method at the beginning of the project itself so that he may avoid arriving at incorrect conclusions. In this method of research, it is not just important to collect data correctly, but also derive the right conclusions from it. Analysis of data is as big a part of quantitative research as the acquisition of data.
Researchers who use these types of method for their work are normally well versed in various statistical and mathematical models. One can find various types of graphs, tables and formulas in the report that they submit. Marketing projects make extensive use of such models to understand what their customers are thinking and what kind of products they are demanding. Sociology makes extensive use of quantitative research to find out demographics in a society, the various groups and divisions in a heterogeneous population and for compiling surveys in a particular society.
One of the areas where quantitative research has played an important role is in the stock market trading. Many of the trading algorithms that have been used by hedge funds and investment banks owe their origins to the numbers that have been derived by quantitative techniques. Every day when the newspaper publishes extensive reports on how each stock performed or how indices fared, the source of that information can be traced to a financial analyst who pored over various numbers collected from the stock market.
While publishing graphs and tables in an academic report or a general publication, it is essential for the researcher to state clearly what the graph and the tables mean. They need to have small notes deciphering the various symbols in a formula. Only then will the reader find the quantitative analysis meaningful.