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Qualitative and Quantitative Data

Both quantitative and qualitative data fall in the category of statistical data. However, they differ any many ways. Quantitative data deals with numerical portions or quantities. It refers to things that are measurable, such as frequency and values. Qualitative data tends to deal more with the quality of the object being analyzed and usually includes descriptive words or language. Specifically, in HR quantitative data can be used to measure productivity, while qualitative data would be utilized to review an employee's behaviors. Since the employee's behaviors (qualitative) can have an impact on productivity (quantitative), the two data types rely on one another for the most valid outcome. In some instances, qualitative reports may contradict the information contained in quantitative reports; therefore, it is important to understand the difference in the two to minimize disputes from employees. If a manager provides a review of an employee from only the qualitative aspect, but the quantitative data shows the employee as inefficient, this may cause conflict.

If you have a conflict as stated here, how would you deal with it? For example,let's say the qualitative data shows that employee A makes the most widgets of everyone on the shift, but he cannot get along with others and causes interpersonal conflicts. How would address this; which data would you put the most weight on?

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This would have to be dependent on the structure of the company. If we're dealing with a large manufacturing company that has many employees and production needs to remain high, we would want to place more weight on the quantitative data. If we're dealing with a small manufacturing company with only a handful of employees, we would put more weight on the qualitative data. The reason why ...

Solution Summary

This solution explains how to deal with qualitative and quantitative data conflicts and related issues.