Quantification of transcripts from depth interviews, open ended responses and focus groups: Challenges, accomplishments, new applications and perspectives for market research

Marcus Schmidt

Copenhagen Business School

The qualitative–quantitative schism in marketing research

To many qualitative researchers, using quantitative techniques for analysing qualitative data is inappropriate. At the same time, hard-core market research methodologists in most cases are reluctant to work with qualitative data like text excerpts from focus groups, in-depth interviews and responses from open-ended questions. According to the latter type of researchers, data analysis is based on quantitative information like raw numbers, data cells, tables and figures. Number crunchers prefer data that are metric scaled, interval scaled or at least categorically scaled with a limited number of categories (i.e. 20) within a variable as an upper limit.