Quantitative and qualitative data: the distinction between qualitative and quantitative data collection techniques.

Data Types – Quantitative and Qualitative Data

Both qualitative and quantitative data are forms of empirical data- information which has been gathered from research observations.


Quantitative Data is data that is in numerical form (numbers and figures).

Evaluation of the use of Quantitative Data:

  • Advantages of Quantitative Data: The data can easily be turned into a numerical value and is therefore easy to analyse.
  • Disadvantages of Quantitative Data: The data is often limited to yes or no answers and rarely allows the participant to expand on their answers.


Qualitative Data is data that is in written form (usually response to a questionnaire – open question responses).

Evaluation of the use of Qualitative Data:

  • Advantages of qualitative data Advantages of quantitative data: Qualitative data is an expression of feelings and emotions; therefore it generates a rich source of information that can be used to suggest further research.
  • Disadvantages of qualitative data Disadvantages of quantitative data: It is more difficult to analyse than quantitative data and may need to be turned first into quantitative data in order to be analysed.