A quantitative analysis can give people the necessary information to make decisions about policy and planning for a program or organisation. A good quantitative analysis leaves no questions about the quality of data and the authority of the conclusions. Whether in school completing a project or at the highest levels of government evaluating programs, knowing how to write a quality quantitative analysis is helpful. A quantitative analysis uses hard data, such as survey results, and generally requires the use of computer spreadsheet applications and statistical know-how.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Survey results
- Data calculations
Explain why the report is being written in the introduction. Point out the need that is being filled and describe any prior research that has been conducted in the same field. The introduction should also say what future research should be done to thoroughly answer the questions you set out to research. You should also state for whom the report is being prepared.
Describe the methods used in collecting data for the report. Discuss how the data was collected. If a survey was used to collect data, tell the reader how it was designed. You should let the reader know if a survey pilot test was distributed first. Detail the target population, or the group of people being studied. Provide the sample size, or the number of people surveyed. Tell the reader if the sample was representative of the target population, and explain whether you collected enough surveys. Break down the data by gender, race, age and any other pertinent subcategory. Tell the reader about any problems with data collection, including any biases in the survey, missing results or odd responses from people surveyed.
Create graphs showing visual representations of the results. You can use bar graphs, line graphs or pie charts depending to convey the data. Only write about the pertinent findings, or the ones you think matter most, in the body of the report. Any other results can be attached in the appendices at the end of the report. The raw data, along with copies of a blank survey should be in the appendices as well. The reader can refer to all the data to inform his own opinions about the findings.
Write conclusions after evaluating all the data. The conclusion can include an action item for the reader to accomplish. It can also advise that more research needs to be done before any solid conclusions can be made. Only conclusions that can be made based on the findings should be included in the report.
Write an executive summary to attach at the beginning of the report. Executive summaries are quick one to two page recaps of what is in the report. They include shorter versions of the introductions, methods, findings and conclusions. Executive summaries serve to allow readers to quickly understand what is said in the report.
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