Quantitative vs Qualitative
Quantitative Methods are very useful in generating quantifiable data on large numbers of people who are considered representative of a wider population or stakeholder group. Generally, these methods are thought to be good for set questions and statistics and are helpful in determining ‘how many?’ or ‘what portion?’
These methods emphasise objective measurements and the statistical, mathematical, or numerical analysis of data collected through polls, questionnaires, and surveys, or by manipulating pre-existing statistical data using computational techniques.
Qualitative approaches are most useful when you want to find out’ why,’ ‘what’ or ‘how’ in relation to specific issues. They are extremely helpful when there are no clear ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers, or if you want to address complex issues or explore people’s attitudes and opinions in more depth.
If you require statistics as key indicators, qualitative approaches alone are not likely to meet your needs. These methods are not dependent on statistics and, therefore, do not provide ‘statistically reliable’ results. Instead, qualitative data should be ‘interpreted’ to help broaden understanding.
Qualitative methods are useful when you want stakeholders to become more involved in deliberating and setting agendas or in identifying the priorities that are important to them.
Qualitative approaches might also be used to investigate a theme and identify relevant questions for a larger scale quantitative survey.
I can help you plan your toolkit and customise the methods best suited to your individual needs and local contexts.
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