FOOD AND AGRICULTURE
ENERGY AND CLIMATE
NATURE AND CULTURE
MAPPING AND STATISTICS
QUANTITATIVE APPROACH: From a quantitative research perspective, our approach is to strengthen the evidence base for our clients through the provision of rigorous, in-depth analysis which is fully grounded in the data. Quantitative research is concerned with testing hypotheses derived from theory and/or being able to estimate the size of a phenomenon of interest. Depending on the research question, participants may be randomly assigned to different treatments. If this is not feasible, the researcher may collect data on participant and situational characteristics in order to statistically control for their influence on the dependent, or outcome, variable. If the intent is to generalize from the research participants to a larger population, the researcher will employ probability sampling to select participants. Our expertise in quantitative data acquisition is first-rate and complimentary within the European research community.
QUALITATIVE APPROACH: The moderately low level of involvement of academic researchers in the European survey research industry has led to a state-of-affairs where best practice research methodologies are not as broadly implemented as they should be. It has also meant that the European survey research community is not well placed to respond to the various methodological challenges facing present survey methodologists, including issues such as the increasing proportion of ‘mobile phone only’ households and the inappropriate use of non-probability online panels via poor quality sampling frames. From this viewpoint there is a potential gap in the survey research landscape; this qualitative gap is where the Polo Center of Sustainability attracts its services and strives to fulfil it Europe-wide.