Quantitative and Qualitative Classification of Data

08/04/2021 0 By indiafreenotes

Qualitative data

Qualitative data is data concerned with descriptions, which can be observed but cannot be computed. On the contrary, quantitative data is the one that focuses on numbers and mathematical calculations and can be calculated and computed.

  • So, for the collection and measurement of data, any of the two methods discussed above can be used.
  • Although both have its merits and demerits, i.e. while qualitative data lacks reliability, quantitative data lacks a description.
  • Both are used in conjunction so that the data gathered is free from any errors.
  • Further, both can be acquired from the same data unit only their variables of interest are different, i.e. numerical in case of quantitative data and categorical in qualitative data.

The methods of collecting qualitative data are:

  • Focus Group
  • Observation
  • Interviews
  • Archival Materials like newspapers.

Qualitative Classification of Data

Quantitative Data, as the name suggests is one which deals with quantity or numbers. It refers to the data which computes the values and counts and can be expressed in numerical terms is called quantitative data. In statistics, most of the analysis are conducted using this data.

Quantitative data may be used in computation and statistical test. It is concerned with measurements like height, weight, volume, length, size, humidity, speed, age etc. The tabular and diagrammatic presentation of data is also possible, in the form of charts, graphs, tables, etc. Further, the quantitative data can be classified as discrete or continuous data. the methods used for the collection of data are:

  • Surveys
  • Experiments
  • Observations and Interviews

Qualitative Data

Quantitative Data

These data, on the other hand, deals with quality. These are data that deal with quantities, values, or numbers.
Measurability They are generally not measurable. Measurable.
Nature of Data They are descriptive rather than numerical in nature. Expressed in numerical form.
Research Methodology Exploratory Conclusive
Quantities measured Narratives often make use of adjectives and other descriptive words to refer to data on appearance, color, texture, and other qualities. Measures quantities such as length, size, amount, price, and even duration.
Method of collection


They are only gained mostly through observation. Statistics is used to generate and subsequently analyze this type of data.
Approach Subjective Objective 
Data Structure Unstructured Structured
Determines Depth of understanding Level of occurrence
Reliability Less reliable and objective. The uses of statistics add credence or credibility to it so that quantitative data is overall seen as more reliable and objective.
Data Collection Techniques Qualitative surveys,  Focus group methods, Documental revision, etc. Quantitative surveys, Interviews, Experiments
Sample A small number of non-representative samples A large number of representative samples
Outcome Recommends the final course of action Develops initial understanding