Essay about Qualitative vs. Quantitative

2472 Words May 1st, 2013 10 Pages
Qualitative vs. Quantitative Analysis

When research is being conducted you must gather data. “Data are the facts and figures collected, analyzed, and summarized for presentation and interpretation” (Anderson, Sweeney & Williams, 2005, 5.) You must differentiate the type of data before you can analyze it. “There are basically two ways to go about an analysis, qualitative analysis and quantitative analysis” ("Difference between qualitative," 2011). “You can use both qualitative and quantitative reports to track the work performance of individuals, business units and your workforce as a whole” (Ciaran, John). Each type of data has its own advantages and many times analyzers use a combination of both types of data to make decisions.
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The main difference between these types of data is “different kinds of data require different investigation and interpretation, so some situations are more suited for quantitative evaluation and some for qualitative evaluation” ("Difference between qualitative," 2011).
Once you have discerned which type of data you have you then are able to decide which statistical method is appropriate in order to analyze that information. It is important that you are able to take this data and graphically depict it properly. Analysis for quantitative data is different from what was described above. There are simple ways to analyze qualitative data. This includes finding recurring patterns/themes, categorizing data, and looking for critical incidents. One way to organize this information is by finding the frequency distribution. “A frequency distribution is a tabular summary of data showing the number (frequency) of items in each of several nonoverlapping classes” (Anderson, Sweeney & Williams, 2005, 28.). In other words it lists the number of occurrences for each category of data. In order to develop this frequency distribution you take review each item and see how many times it is listed. For example, if we use the following information from Page 43 in the textbook #21 we can

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