Qualitative and Quantitative Research – A Genuine Guide For 2021

Ajay Ohri


There are two research methods which are broadly split into qualitative and quantitative research. It depends upon your selection of research questions, your underlying method of research, and your skills. Qualitative and quantitative research may be a fundamental distinction within research practice. 

Qualitative and quantitative marketing research approaches are designed to offer you very different perspectives. Qualitative research provides rich, detailed and sometimes emotionally driven, insights supported the private views about the product. In contrast, quantitative research offers a broader, robust view, supported hard statistics i.e. individual will like the product or not?

  1. What is Qualitative and Quantitative Data in Research?
  2. Why use both quantitative and qualitative research?
  3. How to analyse?

1) What is Qualitative and Quantitative Data in Research?

Differences between quantitative and qualitative research are as follows.

Quantitative Research

This research uses measurable data to formulate facts. It provides observed effects of a program on a drag or condition. It solves the problems using numerical data. The numeric data later can be transformed into useable data. For quantitative research statistical tests are used. This analysis has fixed response options. It’s actually number based. It is often both valid and reliable. Quantitative research depends on the measurement device or instrument used. Time dissipation is heavier on the design phase and lighter on the analysis phase, in a quantitative method. This research is more generalizable.

Qualitative Research

Quantitative data can be formulated using focus graphs, thorough interviews and reviews of documents. Qualitative research uses text-based data to solve the problem. Quantitative research data collection uses unstructured or semi-structured response options. There are no statistical tests. In qualitative research, time dissipation is lighter on the planning phase and heavier during the analysis phase. This research is generally less popular.


Qualitative and quantitative research methods are often seen as providing opposite viewpoints, with the previous. Both the method provides you with a more open style and supports human interaction. This seems as if they are requiring different skill sets and to satisfy different needs, resulting in specialism in one or the opposite. This successively means gaining combined and universal views which are proved to be complex.

As we all know qualitative is more in use than quantitative research. There are different methods to gather data.

  • This includes interviews of all the three categories, structured, non-structured and semi-structured.
  • This method focuses on the groups, which consist of several participants and discussing the an issues and facts.
  • Postcards consist of four to five small questions for participants and give them the freedom to present the answers in their own personal ways.
  • The secondary data which includes companies written data of all the events, and reports.
  • Observations, which can get on-site, or under ‘laboratory conditions’, for instance, where participants are asked to role-play a situation to point out what they could do.

The methods of quantitative data include:

  • Various surveys are held which can be conducted through phone or face to face. This makes sure that everyone is getting equal opportunities to response and act.
  • Observations can either involve counting the number of times in which specific phenomenon occurs. All the observed data such as usage of a specific word or coding data is transformed into numbers later.
  • Quantitative research includes secondary data, for example- company accounts data.

2) Why use both quantitative and qualitative research?

Both qualitative and quantitative research are indispensable tools during a researcher’s toolbox. A platform name Lucid used for conducting quantitative research via online surveys – an answer which will be quite useful for augmenting qualitative research. Quantitative and qualitative research are complementary methods that employment well together to supply insights that are both deep and wide. No matter the research objectives, now quite ever researchers have options and countless qualitative/quantitative tools to style projects that deliver more actionable insight.

For example, think of a boy reciting a poem in front of the whole class. A teacher who is listening to the way of reciting gives feedback on how the child recited. If the teacher gives feedback based on fluency, throw of words, clarity in pronunciation without giving a number to the child, this is considered as an example of qualitative data.

It’s quite easy to understand the difference between qualitative and quantitative data. Qualitative data does not include numbers in its definition, whereas quantitative data is all about numbers.

  • The wall is black, red in colour (qualitative).
  • Humans can have white, black, blonde hair (qualitative).

3) How to analyse?

Analyzing Qualitative Data 

As qualitative data are drawn from a various amount of sources, therefore they will be radically different in scope. There is a number of methods available for analyzing them, many of which involve structuring and coding the info into groups and themes. The process involved gathering the data. Then data is being reviewed and converted into some initial codes. Codes are reviewed and resented in a cohesive manner.

Analyzing Quantitative Data

There is a good range of statistical techniques available to analyse quantitative data. Simple graphs used to point out the information through tests of correlations between two or more items. Then the data is converted into statistical form. Other techniques include cluster analysis, useful for identifying relationships between groups of subjects where there’s no obvious hypothesis, and hypothesis testing, to spot whether there are genuine differences between groups.


Finally, it’s important to mention that Both the research run parallelly. You can select any method of your choice. Sometimes you’ll get confused: which method to use, whether qualitative or quantitative or only one method, or both, or several other methods too. It depends on your research and only you’ll decide which methods will suit both your research questions and your skills.

You can have a suggestion from others to about what to use. Whether you’re conducting user research, you’re employed as a growth hacker. You’re trying to enhance marketing results or simply developing a product, you would like data to form informed decisions. The only way to understand the differences between qualitative and quantitative research is the key to use them separately or combined in relevant scenarios. This improves the choice process and can ultimately affect your profit.

If you are interested in making it big in the world of data and evolve as a Future Leader, you may consider our Integrated Program in Business Analytics, a 10-month online program, in collaboration with IIM Indore!


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