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Mr Quantity meets Miss Quality
Transcript of Mr Quantity meets Miss Quality
Meet Mr Quantity.
He loves numbers.
He hates ambiguity.
He rarely sees the forest from the trees.
He sees future as graphs. It is pretty simple really.
A methodological love story
Meet Miss Quality.
She loves to explain things with long words.
She hates numbers.
She is finding it hard to be precise.
She sees future through people. It is all rather complicated.
They meet each other.
Will it end in tears?
Or will it be a match?
Let's see what happens.
He is such a boring nerd.
I don't think he can see the bigger
picture with his statistics and graphs.
Let's face it. We don't have
anything in common.
She is such a hippie.
I bet she does interviews for breakfast and claims they are "science".
I can't see how this could work.
So.. I bet you like to chat with people pretty informally?
It can't be very accurate and reliable.
It sure beats showing them a
bunch of graphs.
And who ever claimed that numbers can't lie?
I guess you have a point there.
So, how would you make a perfect scenario?
First, I would seek some experts, who know about the field of inquiry.
The semi-structured ones.
I knew it!
I'd do that, too!
Then, I would interview these experts and ask them some questions.
I'd keep it pretty informal to get a good grasp of their views.
Then, I would analyze the data with this method called qualitative content analysis.
Sounds pretty hazy.
Where are the facts?
After this I would just
form a scenario based on the analysis.
I'm sorry, but where are all the hard facts and numbers?
What a jerk.
Well this is more of an explorative journey into alternative futures.
So how would you
I would start by defining key
variables of the topic
and express them with absolute numerical values, percentages or Likert scales.
Is he actually onto something?
That would be a first.
That is so you!
To simplify and make assumptions!
Well, wouldn´t you do the same? Use your theoretical and practical understanding of the field as well as the type of scenarios you wish to create?
I would also show historical background information for each variable.
It's always the same with you people.
That´s something new..
I can't believe I'm asking you, but could you tell me more?
That is interesting!
But still, the numbers are always only quasi-exact estimations.
What... She wants to know more?
So.. It is useful to show the respondents a sufficiently long trend both as numbers and as a graphs when asking for the future of a trend.
It is easier to estimate a value for variables with numbers. Some experts might feel slightly uncomfortable giving numerical estimates to topics they feel more unfamiliar with, but the visual aid of a realized trend helps them.
We often use numbers to express time when talking about the future. So numbers are naturally present in future talk.
Yes, I could do that. Besides I have noticed that people want some numbers, too.
Numbers can be pretty expressive and words can sometimes be harder to understand.
You need to know how to read them. I see that quantitative exactness and qualitative enrichment could work well together.
I just feel that even if tables and graphs look easily scientific and precise, they are very often quite conservative.
Why did I ask?
Did I just defend numerical data ?
Wait. Did I
just ask for
I don't entirely agree, but you could actually help me by providing some deeper information on the estimated direction and strength of a particular trend.
I like your thinking.
I see real possibilities here.
We could be onto something.
What if we collect both qualitative and quantitative materials from the same source, namely experts outside the research team? What would it require?
We should maybe analyze
both materials separately
And I can add the qualitative arguments for the statements.
I think it is more important to use methods in line with the research objective than argue which approach is better.
I enjoyed our discussion. Would you like to work together in the future?
I totally agree. Using methods in futures studies is more important than researching without a method or choosing the “right” method.
His hair looks
weird..I can't really
define the colour.
Yes, I agree. We can both
do our own work and use our own expertise. I can calculate distributions of quantitative statements.
Well, I would be more than happy. Care to crab a coffee together?
She's so pretty
when she talks research.
I could discuss with
him for hours. Even about numbers.
Then, we can discuss more with the experts, but also with each other.
She's actually quite nice and pretty clever, too.
His voice is hypnotic.
He is quite tall.
Let me get my pillow.
Hate to admit it, but he does have a point.
Numbers make me queasy.
Don´t be so narrow-minded. I would use an interactive graph.
It helps to grasp the numbers.