Quantitative and Qualitative Data Collection

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Quantitative and Qualitative Comparison
Quantitative Data
•
In numerical format naturally
– monetary values, counts, dates
• Used for:
– Describing information in aggregate, identifying trends
overtime, quantifying outcomes, conducting statistical
analysis
• Able to be analyzed using statistics
• Examples include:
– N clients served at agency, N staff, % of staff with BA
degrees, % of clients placed in jobs, agency cost per
client served
Advantages
• Aggregate large volume of data
• Numbers can be “persuasive”
• Track trends over time
• Measure relationship between different variables
Disadvantages
• Training / expertise required to collect, enter, and analyze
these data
• May not shed light on the “whole story” or the “why” of a
situation
• Participants may feel limited to preset response categories
Examples of Quantitative Research
 Analyzing existing data
 Surveys
Qualitative Data
•
•
•
Qualitative data are non-numerical
Used for:
– Examining social world through stories, images, and
experience
– Probing more deeply into constructs, examining the
“how” or “why” types of questions
Examples include:
– Transcripts from 1:1 or group interviews
– Observations made in the field
– Pictures, texts
Advantages
• Richness of information provided
• Data can richly supplement other sources of info
• Socially oriented research method
Disadvantages
• Data can be difficult to analyze.
• Groups can be difficult to assemble.
• Potentially disruption of natural setting
• Can be more time consuming
• Relies heavily on skills of interviewer/observer
Examples of Qualitative Research
 Focus Groups
 Field Observations
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