What is Qualitative Data? Definition and Meaning Qualitative and Quantitative Data

What is qualitative data?
Qualitative data is the name given to the data expressed in the form of words or texts that help to understand certain actions and attitudes of the respondents that are not quantifiable, so their use is very important to support any serious research.

If we carry out an investigation where we need to obtain more depth in the answers, surely we are going to collect a lot of qualitative data that we have to analyze. If we decide on this type of research is because there are several factors that influence our research and we want to know about them, for example, who would not like to get into the minds or subconscious of customers and know details of what do they really feel or think about our product or service? What motivates them to act or not in this or that way? What causes them to use a product?

The qualitative data throw us such data where respondents expressed more openly, lead us to unknown worlds, we share their emotions, what really motivates them.

This type of data has as its main characteristic that they cannot be measured, nor expressed with a number, they must be interpreted. There are those who resort different methods and, for example, use the Likert Scale, to measure something qualitative. What is the Likert scale and how to use it?

The qualitative data are used mainly as the first approach to the problem, since it provides us with information about the existence of a reality in which our participants are involved.

Methods of qualitative data collection
  • Open question surveys
  • Observation
  • Delphi technique
  • Interview
  • Documentaries
  • Focus Groups
  • Online Communities

There are those who focus group to obtain this type of information and in turn observe the reactions to certain stimuli or the interaction between the participants.

There is also storytelling, a methodology based on telling stories where the participants of a research tell a story where their fears will be reflected, the reason for their decisions or simply the way in which a brand, service or product is part of their life.

In an online survey you can also get qualitative data Get better results using text boxes, for example in open questions.

Once we have obtained the data comes the difficult: organize and analyze them to be able to establish relationships, interpret the information and extract the relevant meaning of the problem in question.

The analysis of qualitative data can be a complex activity since there are many ways to do it, the variety is so much that it is said that each researcher has his own method, often based on his intuition and experience.

The only point of convergence of all the methods of qualitative data analysis is that at some point in the collection we must make sense of the data.

How to analyze qualitative data:
Reduce information: When we receive so much information, we have the primary need to reduce it, so that we only get the necessary information with data that is easy to analyze, understandable and relevant.

Presentation of results: This step is very important since it allows us to present the data in an operative way to solve the unknowns of the investigation. With them we follow two steps: The layout and the presentation. The disposition of the qualitative data, refers to organizing the data to present them in an orderly manner, in such a way as to simplify the information. The presentation refers to not storing data, on the contrary we must present them in an orderly manner that allows us to draw conclusions that lead us to make correct decisions.

Conclusions: Once the data have been presented, we must interpret them, this leads us to draw conclusions and verify the information collected.

Without a doubt, the qualitative data gives us another perception and point of view of our clients. There are those who, after conducting qualitative research, reinforce the information using a quantitative methodology. Both methodologies can be complemented, since, for example, the data helps us to describe what a person feels or thinks, their tastes and the way of acting, and the quantitative data give us statistics or figures that help us point out the way to act in the case that we are studying.

The qualitative data are typically descriptive data and, as such, are more difficult to analyze than quantitative data. Now, you just have to decide which the best option for your research project is, remember that to obtain and analyze the qualitative data we need a little more time, so you should consider it in your planning.

Qualitative and quantitative data

Qualitative data and quantitative data have their own characteristics.

Qualitative data: Well, these data are those related to the "qualities", this type of information related to adjectives. For example, if you were asked to describe your most recent shopping experience at an important point of sale, it is possible to use the terms fast, practical, pleasant, expensive or useless. These are all examples of qualitative information.

Quantitative data: Here everything is about numbers. Imagine quantitative information as a reference for a certain "quantity". For example, your height, how much you weigh, or the time it takes to go from one place to another.

Main characteristics of qualitative and quantitative data

  • It is used above all to obtain an understanding of the opinions and motivations of consumers.
  • The methods for collecting this type of data are mainly focus groups and open text questions.
  • Qualitative data collection methods vary using techniques such as focus groups, interviews or observations.
  • The volume of data obtained can make analysis and interpretation very time consuming.
  • The presence of the researcher during the data collection may affect the responses of the study subjects.

  • Data that can be transformed into usable statistics.
  • Quantitative methods of data collection are much more structured.
  • Quantitative methods of data collection include paper surveys or online surveys, mobile surveys, face-to-face or telephone interviews, etc.
  • The questions to obtain this type of data tend to be rather closed, and the size of the sample larger.
  • Information can be collected from a relatively large number of participants.

Collection of qualitative and quantitative data

You can collect information by creating a survey with Questioner, either using one of the over 250 survey templates of the different types of topics, or create a survey from scratch and collect any type of data you need.

Choose from a variety of customization options that suit your specific needs. Most of our templates will collect qualitative and quantitative information.

You can also create an online panel where you can do surveys, as well as obtain qualitative information through forums and online chats.

You can send your survey via email, share it on social networks, and create an HTML code to embed it in your website or blog so that visitors can easily view it. You can also create a QR code of conduct surveys by SMS.

During the collection process, you can view the reports with statistics in real time and at any time. Create custom reports through filters, do a trend analysis, or dynamic tables. If you want to do an in depth data analysis, you will have the option to export the results in different formats, such as Excel or SPSS.

Types of questions to obtain qualitative and quantitative data

In Questioner we have different types of questions for the collection of these types of data, for example:

Text and numeric scroll bar: This is an interactive question where the respondent can control a slide bar depending on their response.

These types of questions are of the year respond with interactive method of response. Depending on how the slider is labeled, it will give quantitative or qualitative information either. You are able to label the slider with numbers or words, depending on the type of information needed.

Order question and classification: This is a simple method of qualitative feedback where, according to your choice, the respondent orders the answers according to your preferences. This gives respondents the ability to classify some measures.

Comment box: When you put an open question within your survey, you are opening a channel of communication and feedback with the participants. They will provide you with valuable and detailed qualitative information that you would not receive by asking closed questions.

Multiple choice questions: When there is a possibility to make more than one selection, the respondent can be offered the ability to choose multiple answers. The answers will determine if the data will be qualitative, quantitative or both.