When it comes to scholarly works, the question of choosing the most appropriate data analysis kind is of crucial importance. At present, there are a few such kinds, and each of them can be more useful in this or that case. Thus, qualitative data analysis and quantitative data analysis are common types of collecting and generating social work knowledge and have both similarities and differences.
In social sciences, qualitative data analysis “seeks to describe the culture and behavior of humans and their groups from the point of view of those being studied” (Shareia, 2016, p. 3849). A quantitative research method, in its turn, focuses on analyzing actual data to reach corresponding conclusions. The similarity between the two is that they are used to find reasoned information on a social science topic, even though this information is of various kinds. As for differences, they are more vivid, and the work by Shareia (2016) can be useful in explaining them. Firstly, qualitative data analysis aims at understanding relationships between objects, while a quantitative method tries to describe them. A type of reality under consideration is the second difference. The fact is that a qualitative approach deals with subjective reality, while quantitative data analysis focuses on objective one (Shareia, 2016). Finally, the two diverge in a researcher’s role; researchers can personally influence qualitative research, and it is impossible in quantitative studies. Thus, even though the data analysis methods are similar in their general aims, vivid differences still exist.
To conclude, qualitative and quantitative research methods diverge in a few crucial aspects. In spite of this, they are similar in a way that they both can be used to find and analyze information on a social science phenomenon. Thus, only the combination of the two data analysis methods can allow researchers to arrive at reasoned and unbiased conclusions on this or that social issue.
Shareia, B. F. (2016). Qualitative and quantitative case study research method on social science: Accounting perspective. International Journal of Economics and Management Engineering, 10(12), 3849-3854.