Difference between exploratory descriptive and explanatory

You may start out with a hypothesis or question, or you may just really be delving into the data to determine what might be interesting about it. Exploratory analysis is the process of turning over rocks to find perhaps 1 or 2 precious gemstones. In my blogging and writing, I tend to focus mostly on this latter piece, explanatory analysis, when you've already gone through the exploratory analysis and from this have determined something specific you want to communicate to a given audience: in other words, when you want to tell a story with data.

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Keeping this distinction in mind, I thought it might be interesting to look at a recent makeover and show how the visual you could use for the exploratory and explanatory steps of the analytical process might differ. You're looking at customer feedback, specifically to better understand how failed or less-than-ideal performance across various dimensions for a given make and model impacts customer satisfaction.

The primary output variable you're looking at in this case is an overall question in your customer satisfaction survey, where customers are asked to express their overall satisfaction with their car along a 5-point Likert scale Very Dissatisfied, Dissatisfied, Neutral, Satisfied, Very Satisfied.

For example, there are likely other things that drive the overall satisfaction with the car, which we're ignoring here. Also, anytime you show percents like this, I'd recommend also showing the N count - in this case, the number of people reporting the given issue - which will be helpful for the interpretation of the data. With this visual, you can scan through the various issues and see the relevant "less than very satisfied" metric. This might be useful for part of your exploratory analysis.

Once you've identified something or some things to focus on, in some cases it will make sense to create a different visual for the purpose of focusing on that thing or those things.

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Alternatively, the same visual and be modified for explanatory purposes by drawing attention to the points of interest, while preserving the other data for context:. We can use the same visual and approach for highlighting another potential point of interest:. Note how, when we focus on one aspect or story, it's actually harder to see the others.

difference between exploratory descriptive and explanatory

That's one of the reasons it's important to do exploratory analysis before you get to the explanatory phase: so you can have confidence that you're focusing your audience on the right thing s. In case it's of interest, the Excel workbook with the above graphs can be downloaded here.

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Your initial visual might look something like the following:. Or another:. Newer Older.In exploratory research, the objective is to better understand a particular topic, descriptive research seeks to deepen the subject, while the explanatory one seeks to connect ideas to understand the causes and effects. They point to a closer proximity to the subject, which can be constructed based on hypotheses or intuitions. Descriptive research aims to describe something. For this, an exhaustive and descriptive analysis of the object of study is carried out.

This search may not have investigator interference. Explanatory research is an attempt to connect the ideas and factors identified to understand the causes and effects of a given phenomenon.

This is where researchers try to explain what is happening. Goal Discover ideas and thoughts.

difference between exploratory descriptive and explanatory

Describe characteristics and functions. Understand the causes and effects. Although they also invest in the collection and survey of qualitative data, quantitative data is mainly used. Based on experimental methods. Exploratory investigation As the name implies, the main objective of this type of research is to explore a problem and, therefore, provide information for future research.

It focuses on the discovery of ideas and thoughts.

3 Types of Survey Research, When to Use Them, and How they Can Benefit Your Organization!

It is usually the initial investigation of a hypothetical or theoretical idea. This is where a researcher has an idea, or will try to better understand something he has observed. Therefore, exploratory research works as an attempt to lay the groundwork for future studies, or to determine whether what is observed can be explained by an existing theory. Most of the time, these surveys are the initial basis for future research. Exploratory research can come in two forms: a new topic or a new angle.

While a new topic is a new theory or idea to explore, new angles are new ways of looking at things, whether from a theoretical perspective or a new way of measuring data.Descriptive and causal studies answer fundamentally different kinds of questions.

Descriptive studies are designed primarily to describe what is going on or what exists. In a causal study, researchers manipulate the set of independent variables to determine their effect, if any, on dependent variables. A descriptive study does not typically involve variable manipulation or a control.

Descriptive studies make use of two primary sorts of data collection: cross-sectional studies and longitudinal studies. The cross-sectional study attempts to give a snapshot of data at a certain moment in time -- variables in a cross-sectional study are measured only once. The longitudinal study, on the other hand, involves a fixed, relatively stable sample measured repeatedly over time.

In both cases, methods used might include mail, online or in-person surveys or interviews. Case studies likewise make use of two primary sorts of data collection: laboratory experiments and field experiments.

Laboratory experiments are conducted in artificial environments which allow researchers to carefully control exactly which variables are manipulated while keeping other factors constant. Based in Chicago, Adam Jefferys has been writing since He teaches college writing and literature, and has tutored students in ESL. About the Author. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd.Research design is a tool that is used in carrying out marketing researches.

The design is supposed to give in detail the procedures that are supposed to be followed to solve problems that marketing researches present.

The major approaches used in researches include exploratory, causal, and exploratory research designs. Information requirements, measures, and scales have to be spelt out clearly.

Sampling process, sample size, and data analysis plans also feature prominently as components of the three research designs Collins, Sutton and Onwuegbuzie Descriptive research design is mainly used to describe a behavior or type of subject. It not intended to look for specific relationships between variables neither does it correlate variables. Its major set back is that it cannot identify cause because its setting is completely natural.

Moreover, it has all the variables present. Descriptive research design is an asset to a researcher because a lot of information can be acquired through description.

For purposes of identification of variables and hypothetical constructs which can be subjected to further investigations using other means, descriptive research design come in handy.

Some of its advantages include the ability of its descriptions to be used to indirectly test theory or model behaviors that cannot be studied using any other means Creswell Categories of descriptive design include surveys and observational studies.

Field surveys feature prominently under surveys. Under this, the participants are expected to fill in the questionnaires or be subjected to interviews in natural settings. Much attention should be devoted to construction and content validity of the questionnaires; the scores must be reliable; the questions should be clear and precise hence mutually exclusive answers; the interviewer must be consistent and controlled in his or her behavior; and the order of questions as they appear in the questionnaire have to be counterbalanced.

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This helps in identifying and controlling one sided responses. Surveys are quite often mailed or facilitated through phone calls. Surveys conducted through mails involve questionnaires that are relatively long. It takes some time before these mails are returned. Inclusion of cover letter, giving survey a face validity, asking brief questions, guaranteeing rewards, and sending a reminder will only ensure that the return rate of the mails is enhanced. Telephones are credited for having higher response rate.

The telephone interviewers normally use structured and closely ended questions Fraenkel and Wallen The introduction of telephone interviews have to be straight to the point and friendly. It is usually assumed that participants who fail to participate in phone interviews may be busy or guarded.

Purpose of Research: Exploratory, Descriptive, Explanatory

When it comes to identifying the population and samples to participate in surveys, all subgroups have too be identified without any element of bias. Random or stratified random sampling techniques are preferred.

However, other sapling techniques like cluster sampling, convenience sampling, quota sampling, snowball sampling can be used. Potential biases that are encountered in field survey include: by the time the interviewer is calling the respondent may not be in a mood to talk, there may be biasness on the side of those who have accepted to take part in the view such volunteers may be opinionated or boredthere may be a silent majority, and the way one feels today may not be the same as the way he will feel tomorrow.

Survey results are normally analyzed using descriptive statistics. This helps in checking significant correlations in responses gotten from different questions. In observational studies, descriptions normally rely on observations made on the subjects. General techniques used here are naturalistic observation, systematic naturalistic observation, and participant observation.

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Naturalistic observation is unstructured and unsystematic.As a member, you'll also get unlimited access to over 79, lessons in math, English, science, history, and more. Plus, get practice tests, quizzes, and personalized coaching to help you succeed. Already registered? Log in here for access. Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course. Log in or Sign up. Devin has taught psychology and has a master's degree in clinical forensic psychology. He is working on his PhD. As you probably already know, there are many reasons why research is done.

But, what are its purposes? Why bother with all the different styles, techniques, experiments and measurements? Why did the first sailors, the ones before Columbus and Magellan, hop on their little canoes and paddle out?

Humans naturally explore the world around them, wanting to learn about the planet we have labeled Earth. Why did Hippocrates and Galen examine and write about the maladies of man? The need to describe and understand our world is found in even the youngest children. Why did we develop an entire group of sciences to understand humans? Because what good is being human if you cannot explain why we do something. Maybe I am being a little to 'meta' about all this. The purpose of psychology is to explore, to describe and to explain how and why a person thinks, feels and acts.

Exploratory research is defined as the initial research into a hypothetical or theoretical idea. This is where a researcher has an idea or has observed something and seeks to understand more about it. An exploratory research project is an attempt to lay the groundwork that will lead to future studies or to determine if what is being observed might be explained by a currently existing theory.

Most often, exploratory research lays the initial groundwork for future research. To make this a little more understandable, imagine you are blindfolded or placed into a room without light. You are not told if something is in the room, but you have a suspicion there is something in there.

You shuffle out slowly into the room, exploring with the tips of your fingers until you find something. Exploratory research can come in two big forms: either a new topic or a new angle.

A new topic is often unexpected and startling in its findings. For example, American psychologist John Watson really began his behaviorism research with a new topic on the study of human behaviors and learning: rats! Because humans have brains and rats have brains, it makes a certain kind of sense. There was an attempt to find the universal laws of learning in all brains.

New angles can come from new ways of looking at things, either from a theoretical perspective or a new way of measuring something.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie PolicyPrivacy Policyand our Terms of Service. Philosophy Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for those interested in the study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence.

It only takes a minute to sign up. What is the difference between explanatory, descriptive, and predictive analysis? A descriptive analysis involves simply stating the facts as they are. A descriptive analysis should not at any point provide any conclusions or generalizations.

difference between exploratory descriptive and explanatory

At most a descriptive analysis may involved providing summaries, descriptive statistics such as means, standard deviations, and graphs and visualizations to better understand the data.

In your cultural example such an analysis will describe the characteristics of the culture and the historical and geographic context in which it arose.

You are looking for the "what". An explanatory analysis will try not only to describe the information but also to provide causal relationships between the various data presented. Again in your cultural example, such an analysis will provide reasons for why that specific cultural arose from that specific context, why a historical event or climactic feature led to a specific behavioral trait.

When we're dealing with quantitative and statistical data, a descriptive analysis will simply provide means, standard deviations, and graphs while an explanatory analysis also provides some mathematical models tying the variables together which explain the influence they have on each other.

You no longer just describe the facts, you also describe the cause and effect relationship between the facts. You are looking for the "why". The predictive analysis is just going one step further than the explanatory analysis and applying the relationships of mathematical models that were discovered to previously unknown data and future cases. In Your cultural example, you have to be able to explain how the geographic and historical context influenced the behavior of individuals from that culture well enough that based on that, you can predict how such an individual would react to a completely new situation.

You are looking for the "what if". It should be noted that in the field of Pattern Recognition, some methods, such as Neural Networks, are able to predict variables based on inputs without providing any explanatory model for their predictions.

Hence the first step in science is to make precise observation and to describe in a neutral way what has been observed. This step is description. The next step is to create a theory which allows to derive from it the observed results as well as not yet observed facts.

The theory must have a much broader scope than the orginal observations. Accordingly the scientific theory is considered an explanation of the observations.

Finally, the theory must predict the outcome of further observations and experiments on related fields. One can discuss whether the mathematical theory of quantum mechanics, e. My answer about science aims at any empirical science, hence also at ethnology or empirical psychology.

difference between exploratory descriptive and explanatory

Sign up to join this community. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top. Home Questions Tags Users Unanswered. Ask Question. Asked 4 years, 6 months ago. Active 2 years, 3 months ago. Viewed 2k times. EVolk EVolk 4 4 bronze badges.Exploratory research is non-experimental or "observational study. In other words, you aren't manipulating any of the variables, you are simply "observing" them.

The basic purpose of exploratory research is to provide information to assist in research to gain knowledge and to understand of the problems. Explanatory study is to obtain information about the link between the causes and results of the evidence.

Types of scientific research

Explanatory research is research conducted in order to explain any behaviour in the market. It could be done through using questionnaires, group discussions, interviews, random sampling, etc. The objective of descriptive and explanatory research is provide information why certain things are done in a specific way.

The other purpose is to provide information. Descriptive as the name suggest is done in detail and is based on the exploratory research. Exploratory research refers to the research aimed at the exploration of something like the exploration of gold. What is the difference between explanatory exploratory and discriptive research? What advantage does an amoeba cell have over a lizard cell in relation to their levels of organization?

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Top Answer. Wiki User Amjad Ali Arain. Related Questions. What is the difference between exploratory research and explanatory research? Objective of descriptive and exploratory research? Explain with examples exploratory research descriptive research experimental research?

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