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Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis

Often in research papers, we find that "quantitative analysis on A and B could not be performed... so, we proposed a qualitative analysis on A and B"

What do they mean by quantitative and qualitative analysis and which fits in what cases?

Let me give an example. Sachin Tendulkar and Inzamam ul Huq are two great players of cricket. They have qualities- they are master batsmen, they have strokes, they have techniques and strategies. They, however, have quantities- number of hundreds, number of fifties, number of games played, games as captains.

Now, if someone tells you to make a quantitative analysis on them, what you do is to chart their statistics and make a compare-contrast between them. If someone asks you to provide a qualitative analysis, you analyze their quality as a cricketer and its impact on their game and their teams.

Quantitative analysis is not suitable here. Because, Sachin is opening batsman and has plenty of chances to score hundreds and fifties than Inzamam- who is a middle order batsman. This is just one example- you can find many others. As they are differing in batting positions, quantitative analysis as batsman is not a good choice. However, you can quantify their records as captains. Again, in some cases you cannot do that. Like- maybe Sachin took over captaincy when his team lacked quality players but Inzamam, for example, had the best men in his team. So, it depends.

Quantitative analysis should be done more carefully in compare to qualitative analysis. But again, sometimes it depends. You cannot make a qualitative analysis on Waqar Younis and Sachin Tendulkar as bowlers- it simply is wrong.

I hope you are now able to map these examples in your research and find a way to analyze either quantitatively or qualitatively or even both!

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