Explore BrainMass

Research Proposal - The use of hard and soft data

I was wondering if you could help me with articulating how 'hard' data and 'soft' data can be useful to support the need for my research proposal? I also need to come up with examples of each pertinent to my topic, and explain how I determined the quality of the data.

© BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com August 17, 2018, 2:35 pm ad1c9bdddf

Solution Preview

For your research proposal, you have chosen to use the dichotomy of soft data (qualitative e.g. interview) and hard data (statistical data and peer reviewed articles) as this would provide a richer data based for investigating your research topic. By developing a pluralistic approach to research design, soft data and hard data will be combined in complementary ways (cite examples specific from your proposal). In light of the increasingly rapid changes in demographics and diversity of nurses, students and patients, a unidimensional research approach can only be detrimental.


(1) Soft data is data collected through qualitative methods, such as in-depth interviews or focus groups. It is often presented in themes using direct quotes which add context to the area under study, like hard study cannot do. However, it is often accused on not being as rigorous as the hard data. However, when combined they give a more comprehensive picture of the phenomenon under study. However, survey information is also ...

Solution Summary

Regarding research proposals, this solution discusses the use of hard and soft data, including definitions and examples to consider.