PHN 652-Topic 3 DQ 1: Data Collection And Analysis Methods -Classmate response (3)

PHN 652-Topic 3 DQ 1: Data Collection And Analysis Methods -Classmate response (3)


QUESTION -TOPIC 3 DQ 1-Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using qualitative or quantitative data. Give an example of when you would use each.


Classmate Response- (Carlos)- Qualitative and quantitative data are gathered in a very similar fashion but are different in terms of the type of information that is gathered. One of them deals with numbers (quantitative) and the other focuses on observations (qualitative). Quantitative data uses measurable data such as behaviors, number or individuals, conditions or events. The purpose of using numerical data is to determine what, who, when and the where of health events (NIH, 2018). Examples of when you would use quantitate data are: weight, vitals, age, number of individuals suffering from a specific illness. Qualitative data on the other had takes into account all data that is not numerical. It is data that can be observed but not measured. Some examples of qualitative data are firsthand observations, interviews, questionnaires, how patients perceive quality improvement changes. In short, it is the use of words to help describe a particular health relate event (NIH, 2018). The purpose of gathering qualitative data is to study the impact that things like society, culture, economics, and politics have on the health and disease development on the population. One example would be to study how people perceive the importance of wearing a mask during the covid-19 pandemic.  Quantitative data in public health would be used to gather numerical data for example, studies could be done to help identify how many individuals are homeless withing a community in order to determine how to properly manage resources based on the need of the community.

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National Institute of Health. (2018). Common data types in public health research. Retrieved from





Reply Carlos

I agree with you that one of the main differences between qualitative and quantitative data is that one form focuses on observations while the other focuses on data. Quantitative data relies on measurable data concepts such as the number of individual behaviors, conditions, and events (Noyes et al., 2019). The central purpose of quantitative data is to quantify various health events such as the prevalence of diseases, rates of infections, efficacy of a certain treatment, among others. On the other hand, qualitative data considers data that is not numerical, which includes data that can be easily compiled but not quantified. Qualitative approaches involve questionnaires, interviews, and observations (Noyes et al., 2019).

However, the use of quantitative data will have several advantages and shortcomings to a researcher. One of the main advantages of quantitative data is that it allows a researcher to recruit a larger sample size. Quantitative data allows a researcher to be able to make accurate generalizations related to large populations. Quantitative data is also efficient and requires less time to collect. Research can therefore be able to collect information quickly when utilizing quantitative research (Noyes et al., 2019). Finally, quantitative data allows for easier maintenance of anonymity among research participants. In contrast, one of the main shortcomings of quantitative data is that such data does not consider the meaning behind the occurrence of given social phenomena (Noyes et al., 2019). In contrast, qualitative data’s central advantage is that it considers the meaning behind the occurrence of certain phenomena, such as understanding the attitudes of research participants. One of the main shortcomings of qualitative data is that it’s not a statistical representative form of data collection which makes it hard to generalize study results over large populations.



Noyes, J., Booth, A., Moore, G., Flemming, K., Tunçalp, Z., & Shakibazadeh, E. (2019). Synthesising quantitative and qualitative evidence to inform guidelines on complex interventions: clarifying the purposes, designs and outlining some methods. BMJ Global Health, 4(Suppl 1), e000893.