Difference Between Quantitative Data and Qualitative Data

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: April 30, 2023


Difference Between Quantitative Data and Qualitative Data

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Statistics is about the study and collection of data. We have already discussed secondary and primary data in our previous topic. Primary data is data that the researcher has gathered to solve the problem. It can be classified as both qualitative and quantitative data. Qualitative data refers to data that can be observed but cannot be calculated.

Quantitative data, on the other hand, is the one that focuses only on numbers and mathematical calculations. It can be calculated and computed.

These data types can be used in many fields such as marketing, sociology, and business. Any data can be divided into two types: quantitative and qualitative data. These categories allow the researcher to categorize and jot down the data available on a numerical or descriptive basis.

Qualitative and Quantitative research is different. It is important to know the differences between them and to be able to distinguish between them. Two standard methods of conducting research are used in science and technology, business, and economics. The first is qualitative research, while the second is quantitative. Quantitative research relies on statistical and logical observations to reach a conclusion, while qualitative research relies on verbal and written data. Quantitative research, on the other hand, is usually expressed in numbers or graphs. Qualitative research, however, is expressed using the words that correspond to the data set.

Quantitative Data vs. Qualitative Data

Quantitative Data differs from Qualitative Data in that quantitative data sorts available data in numbers, figures, and statistics, and qualitative data sort available data in the form of observation, description, and facts. These two types can be distinguished and understood on many different bases. Quantitative data collect information in numbers, statistics, and sequences. They use the method of measuring, analyzing, and revising the data repeatedly to arrive at a precise numerical form. Quantitative data is information that can be measured or counted.

This article will explain the differences between quantitative and qualitative data.

Qualitative data is the collection of information as data, descriptions, and observations. They use the method of revising facts and describing provider information from a wide perspective. Qualitative data is information that can be measured or tested for quality.

Difference Between Quantitative Data and Qualitative Data in Tabular Form

The table shows some basic Difference Between Quantitative Data and Qualitative Data. We will know in detail about the topic in the further article.

Parameters for Comparison Quantitative Data Qualitative Data
Definition This is data that deals in numbers, statistics, and figures. This type of data deals with facts, descriptions, or observations.
Nature of data It consists mainly of numbers and figures. It includes descriptive data.
Method of collection Resulted from statistics and analysis. Only observation is enough.
Reliability It is more reliable because of the use of statistics, data, revisions, and other statistical tools. It's not reliable.
Technique Experimentation, interviews, and quantitative surveys. Research, revision, qualitative surveys

What is Quantitative Data?

Quantitative data is the process of sorting information into numbers, figures, and mathematical calculations. Quantitative data can be used to perform calculations. It mainly deals with numbers, figures and calculations. This type of data can be measured. This data's nature can be expressed numerically, so the research methodology is extremely conclusive.

Quantitative data allows for deep research and statistical analysis. All the research involved is extremely detailed and precise. Because of the numerical nature and elimination of personal bias, there is a very low chance of errors.

Quantitative data types follow an objective approach, and the data it files provides is well-structured. These data can include a variety of variables, including length, price, duration, size, and even time. Statistics are widely used to generate and analyse quantitative data. Data collection methods that generate quantitative data include experiments, interviews, and surveys.

This method relies on a lot of statistics and is, therefore, more reliable than qualitative data. It also has a lot of credibilities. Quantitative data has the disadvantage of not being able to provide any description.

Qualitative Research Characteristics

Large sample size

Quantitative research has a large sample size. To ensure reliability, quantitative research is conducted on large numbers of people. Quantitative research uses a large sample to represent the entire target market.

This characteristic of quantitative research is why most companies prefer to invest in it over qualitative research.

Structured Research Methods

Quantitative research can be done using structural research methods such as polls, surveys, and questionnaires. These structured research methods can provide in-depth information on the preferences of the audience.

It is also possible to reach large populations across the globe using social media and the internet. Your Survey ad can be paid for to appear on different social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook. You can gather the opinions of large numbers.

These research methods can also be conducted offline. Participants are only required to complete the questionnaire. They are not required to stay with the research for any length of time.

Highly Reliable Results

Quantitative research methods are very reliable because participants must answer specific questions. There are fewer chances that participants will give incorrect or vague information. Because of its reliability, quantitative research is used for industrial purposes. Quantitative research results are easy to comprehend and explain.

To get approval from management, the researchers present the results of their research. Management can quickly understand the information because it is presented in tables and graphs.

Reusable Outcome

One of the best features of quantitative research is its ability to be used multiple times. Data from one purpose can be used to study another problem.

Researchers sometimes use the results of their research to solve similar problems. This reduces the time and expense of conducting research. You can research the amount of money that a man is willing to spend to purchase an electronic gadget.

The results of the previous study can be used to provide a reliable answer for the research question of what a man would pay to purchase an earphone. The previous research problem's output can be used to support new, related research problems.

Closed-ended questions

Closed-ended questions are another characteristic of quantitative research. Closed-ended questions' answers are more precise and directly related to the question than open-ended ones. Open-ended questions require more skill to find the right answers. They are more detailed and dispersed.

Additionally, answers to closed-ended questions are more reliable than those to open-ended ones. People also prefer to answer closed-ended questions over open-ended ones for a variety of reasons. Here are some examples of closed-ended questions.

  1. How often do online shopping habits occur?
  2. How often do your mobile app subscriptions cost?
  3. What price are you willing to pay for a woman's health magazine?

Now let’s move ahead with the discussion of qualitative data and its characteristics.

What is Qualitative Data?

Qualitative data refers to the type of information that is broken down into descriptions and definitions, and not numbers and figures. Qualitative data is based on observation and analysis, not calculations. This is a non-numerical type of data. It consists of extremely detailed information and in-depth analysis that includes facts, theoretical applications, and explanations. Feedback forms and quality analyses in companies are examples of qualitative data.

Qualitative data is essentially about the quality of a product, which we usually consider data. These data are not as easily quantifiable as quantitative data. They must be observed and analysed based on facts and other conditions. Qualitative data are collected using exploratory research methods. Final result: qualitative data is provided in a description format and not in numerical form, as in the case of quantitative data.

Every detail report can sometimes be created. This includes all features of the project under investigation from their appearance to texture, colour and other quality. Although qualitative data is largely subjective, Jab Roj is not able to organize it. Qualitative data is not always the best method due to the insufficient numbers and complex process of reaching a conclusion. Document revision, fact checking, and cross-checking of data with the recommended data are the data collection techniques used for qualitative data analysis.

Qualitative Research Characteristics

Real-world Setting

Qualitative research is based on real-world situations. Qualitative research methods such as ethnographic research, observation, focus group, or one-on-one interviews are based on the behaviour of participants. The conclusion is drawn from their answers.

If a teacher wants to find out why students are not performing well, he might conduct qualitative research. Qualitative research can be done in natural settings to obtain real information.

Different research methods

The variety of methods used to conduct qualitative research is another important characteristic. Focus groups, face to face interviews, observation methods, case studies and content analysis are all examples of qualitative research methods.

Each qualitative research method is different and can be used in different situations and research contexts. Researchers may use more than one qualitative method to get the exact output. To compare quantitative research results, you can also use methods such as Content analysis and a case study.

Complex Reasoning

The qualitative research method has the advantage of being able to handle complex reasoning. Sometimes search situations require complex reasoning to obtain the correct results.

If a restaurant owner wishes to find out what entertainment customers prefer during different times of the day, and why, then he will need to use one of the qualitative research techniques to understand the psychology behind their entertainment choices.

Qualitative research methods can also be used to explain the results of quantitative research methods.

Participants' meanings

Qualitative research is not only about the researcher but also the participant. The focus of the researcher during qualitative research is not to define or think about the literature but to discover and understand the meanings that participants bring to the research.

Different perspectives from participants can lead to different interpretations of research.


Qualitative research can be flexible. It is possible to change at any stage of the study and, depending on that change, the research course might be altered. Qualitative research can be used in situations where flexibility is acceptable.

Holistic Account

Qualitative research is meant to show the bigger picture. Qualitative research requires that the researcher considers different perspectives and evaluate all factors.

Research is designed to create a detailed description of the problem. Research should not attempt to determine a cause-and-effect relationship between two or three factors. Instead, it should seek to establish a complex cause-and effect relationship between various elements.

Participant selection purposeful

Qualitative research involves randomly selecting participants from a small group of participants. Research is more accurate when there is a wide range of participants. Qualitative research is not based on random selections of participants.

Main Difference Between Quantitative Data and Qualitative Data in Points

There are main Difference Between Quantitative Data and Qualitative Data

  1. Quantitative data refers to statistics, figures and numbers. Qualitative data concerns facts, descriptions, and observations.
  2. Quantitative data are numerical in nature, while qualitative data are descriptive or subjective.
  3. Analyse and statistics are two methods to collect quantitative data. The method for collecting qualitative data, on the other hand, includes analysis and statistics.
  4. Because it involves analysis, revisions and practical statistics, quantitative data is considered to be more reliable than qualitative.
  5. Sorting quantitative data can be done through interviews, experiments, and quantitative surveys. Research, revision of facts and qualitative surveys are two other methods that help sort qualitative data.


So now we have arrived at the conclusion of the topic. Both qualitative and quantitative data are used widely in research and work in all areas. Many job postings deal with the sorting of this data, whether it is qualitative or quantitative.

Large companies, industries, and large firms require lots of data to categorize on a daily basis. This is why you need a reliable person who can handle such data and deliver a positive result. Quantitative data can be useful in organizing the figurative data, but qualitative data can be used to organize the descriptive data. It is important to have a good understanding of both quantitative and qualitative data, even if you are not working in this field.


  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/1528008X.2011.541810
  2. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/13645570500402447


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"Difference Between Quantitative Data and Qualitative Data." Diffzy.com, 2024. Sat. 02 Mar. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-quantitative-data-and-qualitative-data-623>.

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