Editor’s note: Ashley Avarino is the head of operations at Phonic. This is an edited version of an article that originally appeared under the title “How Voice Surveys Bridge the Gap Between Quant and Qual Research Methods.”

Market, consumer, customer and UX research explore the same general concept: the human experience. In these fields of research, we might ask:

Each of these questions explores the respondent’s current human experience, in one way or another. Savvy decision makers can use this feedback to ultimately improve the end user experience – be it in-person, in-app or online. So, how do we capture data that tells us something about the human experience?

We can think of research methods in two overarching categories: quantitative and qualitative. Quantitative measures provide us with decision or judgement data that can be easily translated into numbers. For example, 80% of responders chose logo A over logo B or, on average, responders rated familiarity with the brand a three on a five-point scale.

Qualitative data provides us with language-based, descriptive responses. For example, respondents may describe their thoughts and perceptions of a given brand or may speak directly about their experience using a product.

But qualitative data is expensive and laborious. Focus groups and one-on-one interviews require manpower both to facilitate groups and analyze the large qualitative data sets that result. Participants are also usually compensated for their time, often starting at $50 per person. The sample sizes for qualitative data tend to be small due to the higher cost and time requirements. This makes obtained insights unreliable when applied to a larger population or real-world setting.

On the flip side, quantitative data can be collected in very large sample sizes, giving a higher degree of confidence when using data to guide decisions. Quantitative measures are often collec...