Qualitative and Quantitative Research

Quantitative Research:

Studies into a particular subject or subjects, with the focus being on the amounts, facts, figures, statistics, or ‘quantities’. Information gathered from this type of research will most likely be numerical data, which measures certain phenomena.

For example: A survey was done by ‘LAB42’, into Twitter. They discovered that 37% of Twitter users visit Twitter multiple times a day, 33% visit daily, while the other 30% either visit a few times per week, month, or rarely/never.

This research is defined as Quantitative.

Qualitative Research:

Studies into a particular subject or subjects, with the focus being on the descriptions, the whys and hows, comparing different types of opinions, or ‘qualities’. Information gathered from this type of research will generally be non-number based, either verbal or narrative data.

For example: The equivalent data for the ‘LAB42’ Twitter survey, could possibly be; ‘Twitter is visited multiple times a day because of its ease of use’, or ‘Twitter is readily available for free so it is a popular choice for online social networking.’

This research is defined as Qualitative.

The difference between quantitative and qualitative data is that while quantitative data can be measured and lists statistics, qualitative data is in the form of researched opinions and consists more of words. It is important to note however, the two different types of research can be combined, as ‘quantitative data is based on qualitative judgment’, and ‘all qualitative data can be coded quantitatively.’

References:

http://www.wilderdom.com/research/QualitativeVersusQuantitativeResearch.html

http://www.socialresearchmethods.net/kb/qualdeb.php

http://www.regentsprep.org/Regents/math/ALGEBRA/AD1/qualquant.htm

http://blog.tweetsmarter.com/twitter-stats/survey-how-do-people-use-twitter-infographic/

http://www.childrensmercy.org/stats/definitions/qual.htm

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