Difference Between Qualitative and Quantitative Research

In the fields of business, science and technology, economics, etc., they use two standard ways of conducting research. One is qualitative research and the other is quantitative research. Quantitative research uses statistical and logical observations to get a conclusion whereas the qualitative search relies on verbal and written data. In short, quantitative research is generally expressed in numbers or represented using graphs, whereas qualitative research is expressed using the words for the given data sets. Now, in this article, we are going to discuss the difference between qualitative and quantitative research of different data sets.

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Why Do We Need Quantitative and Qualitative Research?

Quantitative research is useful in order to gain an understanding of the underlying opinions, motivations, and reasons. It gives insights into the problems. Also, quantitative research helps to develop ideas and hypotheses, whereas qualitative research is useful in uncovering trends, ideas and opinions, and gives deeper insights into the problem.

Definition of Qualitative and Quantitative Research

Qualitative Research: Qualitative research is used to gain an understanding of human behaviour, intentions, attitudes, experience, etc., based on the observation and interpretation of people. It is an unstructured and exploratory technique that deals with highly complex phenomena. This kind of research is usually done to understand the topic in-depth. It is carried out by taking interviews with open-ended questions, observations that are described in words, and so on.

Quantitative Research: Quantitative research method relies on the methods of natural sciences, which develops hard facts and numerical data. It establishes the cause-and-effect relationship between two variables using different statistical, computational, and statistical methods. As the results are accurately and precisely measured, this research method is also termed as “Empirical Research”. This type of research is generally used to establish generalised facts about a particular topic. This type of research is usually done using surveys, experiments, and so on.

What are the Differences Between Qualitative and Quantitative Research?

Quantitative research is a more methodical approach to solving problems by generating and using data. This form of research is used in quantifying data and variables into concrete data. The surveys used in Quantitative Research includes online surveys, paper surveys and other forms of survey used to complete the research.

Difference between Qualitative and Quantitative Research

Qualitative Research

Quantitative Research

A method for developing a better understanding of human and social sciences, in understanding human behaviour and personalities better It is the method used to generate numerical data by using a lot of techniques such as logical, statistical and mathematical techniques
It employs a subjective approach It employs an objective approach
It is generally expressed using words It is expressed using graphs and numbers
It has open-ended questions It has multiple choice questions
Qualitative research needs only a few respondents Quantitative research requires many respondents
The data collection methods involved are interviews, focus groups, literature review, ethnography The data collection methods involved are experiments, surveys, and observations expressed in  numbers
Qualitative research is holistic in nature Quantitative Research is particularistic in nature
The reasoning used to synthesise data in this research is inductive The reasoning used to synthesise data in this research is deductive
This method involves a process-oriented inquiry This method does not involve a process-oriented inquiry
It develops the initial understanding of data It recommends a final course of action
The data taken in the Qualitative research method is pretty verbal The data taken in this method is pretty measurable
The objective of this research method is to engage and discover various ideas The main objective of Quantitative research is to examine the cause and effect between the variables
It is one of the exploratory research methods It is a conclusive research method

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Frequently Asked Questions on the Difference Between Qualitative and Quantitative Research


Mention the types of quantitative research.

The four different types of quantitative research are descriptive research, experimental research, quasi-experimental research, and correlational research.


Mention the types of qualitative research

The different types of qualitative research are case study, ethnographic method, phenomenological method, narrative model, historical model, grounded theory method


Mention the major difference between qualitative and quantitative data.

The major difference between the qualitative and quantitative data is that quantitative data is about the numbers and the qualitative data is descriptive.


Give the examples for quantitative and qualitative data

The examples of quantitative data are age, salary, height, shoe size, etc. The examples of qualitative data are taste, smell, colour, etc

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