Social research is used by social scientists and researchers in the public sector to learn about groups and societies in order to extend and verify knowledge. Social research relies upon gathering evidence against a systematic plan and subjecting this evidence to analytical rigour. The resulting insights can be used to inform the design of products, services, and policies to meet the needs of people and communities.
Social research can be conducted using quantitative or qualitative methods, or even a mixture of the two. When a researcher combines quantitative and qualitative methods, the resulting research design is known as a mixed methods approach. Given the complex nature of social interactions, and the difficulty of isolating interactions of interest from the wider context, social researchers regularly employ mixed methods approaches.
Our strategic focus
“Putting data and intelligence at the heart of public service delivery”
At Data Cymru, we believe that effective social research practice produces the data and insight that can play a critical role in informing effective service delivery. We have a clear role to play in terms of:
Broadening social research knowledge and practice
Delivering high quality social research support
Promoting the effective use of social research
Social research in practice
We undertake a range of activities to support our social research aims. So far, we have:
- Recruited a social researcher;
- Written a Data Cymru social research strategy and delivery plan;
- Joined and hosted Welsh social research Communities of Practice;
- Supported a citizen and involvement focused social research culture;
- Developed evaluation guidance;
- Provided evaluation and social research support to our partners;
- Commissioned social research;
- Supported future Welsh public service staff by providing undergraduate lecturing; and
- Contributed to the Social Research Association’s (SRA) UK wide blog.
And, we have a lot more planned, including:
- Providing social research education and guidance to our partners;
- Contributing to Welsh Government blueprint research and evaluation work streams;
- Continuing to contribute to Welsh social research Communities of Practice;
- Broadening our own social research capacity;
- Continuing to support a citizen and involvement focused social research culture; and
- Promoting and supporting effective social research practice.
If you’d like to talk to us about our social research work or how we might support you in this area please get in touch.
Leanne is a social researcher at Data Cymru where her role is to spotlight effective public engagement and social research within public service delivery. She is currently specialising in evaluation and journey planning and is managing a number of client projects. Leanne has a background in community development and co-production and has focused her qualitative research skills in voluntary and public service environments.
029 2090 9500