# Difference between qualitative and quantitative data

The main difference between qualitative and quantitative data is that qualitative data is descriptive while quantitative data is numerical. Examples of qualitative data are gender, country, city, nationality, etc., while quantitative data are length, latitude, height, weight, area, speed, age, etc. In addition, quantitative data can be either discrete data (countable data such as number of vehicles, number of students, etc.) or continuous data (measurable data such as height, weight, etc.).

Data is important to everything. Most business organizations collect sales data, revenue, stock prices, and profits. The government collects data on literacy rates, crime rates, birth rates, etc. Data is also important for scientific and academic research such as machine learning and neural networks. Collecting and analyzing data helps make better decisions. An emerging technology in the modern world is the Internet of Things (IoT). This technology uses sensors and actuators to collect data and process it for intelligent decision-making. These are some of the advantages of data.

### Key areas covered

1. What are qualitative data - definition, examples, survey 2. What are quantitative data - definition, examples, survey 3. Difference between qualitative and quantitative data - comparison of the main differences

### key terms

Qualitative data, quantitative data, statistics

## What is qualitative data?

Qualitative data represent characteristics. This data should be interpreted in simple language as numbers. Conducting interviews and observations are some methods of obtaining qualitative data. The descriptive nature of this data makes it difficult to analyze. Some examples of this type of data are gender, country, city, nationality, etc.

Sometimes it is possible to use numerical labels to prepare and present qualitative data. Assume a situation to put the gender of the employees in the database. 1 can be used to denote masculine, while 2 can be used to denote feminine.

## What is quantitative data?

Qualitative data represent numerical information. This type of data is easier to compute and analyze. Some examples are length, width, height, weight, area, speed, age, life span of a lightbulb, etc. Tables, graphs, diagrams help to represent quantitative data. It is possible to find quantitative data with the help of surveys , observations, interviews and other experiments.

Figure 1: Areas Using Data

Quantitative data are further divided into discrete and continuous data. Discrete data has certain values ​​like whole numbers. Some examples are the number of students, the number of machines, etc .; they are countable. On the other hand, continuous data can have any value within a range. Some examples are height and weight; they are measurable). In addition, the application of arithmetic operations such as addition and division to quantitative data makes them more important. For example, if you add all the heights and divide the answer by the total number of observations, you get the average. It is an important measure for analysis.

## Difference between qualitative and quantitative data

### definition

Qualitative data is the type of data made up of descriptive statements. On the other hand, quantitative data is the type of data that can be measured and expressed numerically.

### Data type

Qualitative data is text-based, while quantitative data is number-based.

### Statistical analysis

Statistical analysis is easier with quantitative data than it is with qualitative data.

### Data collection methods

Interviews, written documents, observations help to collect qualitative data. Surveys, observations, experiments and interviews, on the other hand, help to collect quantitative data.

### diploma

The main difference between qualitative and quantitative data is that qualitative data is descriptive while quantitative data is numerical. Typically, statistical analysis is easier with quantitative data than with qualitative data. Statistics, social sciences, and computer science are some disciplines that use this type of data.

##### Reference:

1. "Data". Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, June 16, 2018, available here. 2. "Qualitative data." Methods of Social Research - Knowledge Base - Inferential Statistics, available here .

##### Image courtesy:

1. "Datatypes - de" By João Batista Neto - Datatypes - pt br.svg (CC BY 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia

### About the author: Lithmee

Lithmee has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Systems Engineering and is currently studying for her Masters in Computer Science. She is passionate about sharing her knowledge of programming, data science and computer systems.