Quantitative Research

Quantitative research is used to establish specific numeric measurements of a population. Through the use of statistical sampling, a small number of interviews can be projected to a much larger population.  This type of research is used to generate specific numeric measures, such as:  vote percentage; job performance ratings; effectiveness of messages, themes, products, and services; and market share.

EMC Research has conducted thousands of quantitative surveys—by phone, online, or mail. Based on the target population and the goals, timeline, and budget of your organization, EMC Research will recommend the methodology that most effectively and efficiently meets your needs.


  • Higher response rates than mail or online surveys
  • Short turnaround time
  • Interviewing can be monitored
  • Professional interviewers can ensure quality control by probing and following up incomplete or invalid responses
  • Higher cost per completed interview than mail or online surveys
  • Results can be impacted by the human interaction and quality of the interviewer
  • Not all population segments are reachable by telephone

Telephone surveys remain the most practical, and typically the most effective, method for gathering public opinion.


  • Lower cost per interview than a telephone survey
  • Short turnaround time
  • Access to unique, targeted populations
  • Ability to test media—videos, ads, slogans, presentations
  • Not all populations are online or have access to computers
  • Some people are more computer savvy than others
  • Spam filters can make it difficult to get through to some respondents
  • Low response rates

Online surveys are best used with a more tech-savvy population and can often be used in conjunction with a mail survey to increase response rates. The use of “web-panels” is also increasing and is often a viable option when considering an online survey. (A web-panel is simply a group of individuals who have agreed to participate in online surveys.)


Mail Advantages:
  • Can be less expensive than telephone surveys
  • Potential for testing printed materials
  • Ability to mail to highly specified targets
Mail Disadvantages:
  • Low response rates
  • Slow turnaround time
  • Lack of control over quality; many surveys will be returned with incomplete or invalid answers
  • Lack of control over question ordering; respondents can complete survey questions in any order they want

Mail surveys are best used when your target population is very well defined, easy to mail— e.g. members of an association—and highly motivated to respond.