Question Doreen Social Sciences
Qualitative and quantitative data
What is qualitative and quantitative data and how can it be collected and analysed?
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Answer Internal Staff
On one hand, quantitative data is numerical data or data that has been quantified (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2016, p. 725). On the other hand, qualitative data is non-numerical data or data that has not been quantified (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2016, p. 724). Typically, the quantitative approach to data collection means that you should use random sampling techniques and obtain a large data set. The data is typically collected through use of questionnaires with close ended questions if conducting primary research. Quantitative data can also be collected through secondary data, such as previously published research, reports or databases. Typically, quantitative data is analysed through statistical software such as SPSS or Eviews. The qualitative approach to data collection is different and typically requires you to use purposeful sampling for data collection and for a small data set to be collected. The data is typically collected through such methods as interviews, focus groups and observations if conducting primary research. Qualitative data can also be collected through secondary research, such as through the conduct of an extended literature review. Qualitative data is typically analysed by a technique known as thematic analysis.