Definition

Qualitative Analysis

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Qualitative analysis is used to analyse intangible and imprecise data that is difficult to obtain and calculate. It relies on subjective intuition to assess a company's worth or potential, based on soft or non-quantifiable data such as market cycles, labour relations, administrative experience, research and development strength.

What is the significance of qualitative analysis?

Data that approximates and characterises is known as qualitative data. Qualitative data can be observed and recorded easily. The essence of this data form is non-numerical. It enables statisticians and researchers to create parameters that can be used to observe larger data sets.

Qualitative research is largely a social and experiential theory and less of a statistical one. People's feelings or thoughts, or what they experience, are the subject of qualitative data.

Qualitative research relies heavily on understanding individuals and business cultures.

Qualitative research is aided by pursuing a business from the perspective of a consumer and recognising its competitive advantage. Since aspects like positive brand associations, the trustworthiness of management, customer loyalty, competitive opportunity, and cultural changes are difficult, if not impossible, to capture with numerical inputs, this approach relies on the kind of intelligence that machines lack.

This approach isn't just about what people think; it's also about why they think that way. Qualitative analysis’ key focus lies in social science disciplines, psychology, sociology, and anthropology to name a few. As a result, qualitative research allows in-depth and follow-up probing and interviewing of participants based on their responses, with the researcher seeking to understand their motivations and views. Understanding how people make choices will aid in market research conclusions.

How to conduct a qualitative analysis?

Exploratory qualitative data collection entails in-depth study and analysis. The primary goal of qualitative data collection is to gather information, reasoning, and motives. On a one-to-one basis, the interviewer or researcher gathers data from the interviewee. Here are some strategies for gathering qualitative data.

Gather feedback and opinion 

The first step in performing qualitative data analysis is to collect all the opinions and reviews that will be used in the analysis. The interview can be unstructured and conversational. The majority of open-ended questions are answered on the spur of the moment.

Data can be collected in a variety of ways, including on paper or post-it notes, as well as in online forums and surveys. So, it's important to get everything together in one place. A master spreadsheet can be used as a place to gather feedback for this activity.

Maintain a record

As a database, this approach uses already existing accurate records and related sources of information. This data can be put to use in future studies.

Observation procedure 

This qualitative data collection approach involves the researcher immersing himself/herself in the environment where he does certain things on his respondents, like keeping a close eye on them and taking notes, as well as other reporting methods such as photography, video, and audio recording. This is known as the observation method.

Longitudinal research

This data collection technique is used on the same data source over a long period. It is a form of longitudinal analysis, which lasts for a few years or even decades in some cases.

Case research

An in-depth analysis of case studies is used to collect data in this process. This method's flexibility is shown by the fact that it can be used to examine both basic and complex subjects. The strength of this approach is how effectively it draws inferences, using a combination of one or more qualitative data collection processes.

Example

An investor could begin by learning about a company's management team, including their educational and professional histories as well as their industry experience.

Before investing in a business, what is the most important to an investor? Are they better at understanding or being connected to the right people, or do they have a track record of hard work and responsible decision-making? Their corporate partnerships are also worth investigating because they can have a direct effect on operations.

In qualitative statistics, numbers are not included in the classification of traits. For example, the dress is available in pink, blue, and red.

Qualitative analysis Vs quantitative analysis

The distinction between qualitative and quantitative methods is analogous to that between human and machine intelligence. 

The study of data in qualitative form like that of text content of interview transcripts, is known as qualitative analysis. The researcher's observational and integrative abilities are crucial in qualitative analysis. Rather than forecasting or describing, qualitative research focuses on sense-making or interpreting a phenomenon. Qualitative research necessitates an innovative and investigative approach. 

The quantitative study is based on statistics and essentially self-contained by the researcher. We look at measures, facts, percentages, and amounts in quantitative analysis.

Quantitative analysis is concerned with how many people purchased the goods, and how many people thought about this brand? Machine-collected analytics, close-ended interviews and questionnaires, surveys, and random sampling are the research methods used in quantitative analysis.

Advantages of qualitative analysis

  • The qualitative data gathered allows the researchers to conduct a thorough examination of the subject matter. Researchers prefer to probe respondents and can accumulate a lot of information by asking the right questions; the information gathered is then used to conclude.
  • Market analysts may use qualitative data to better understand their consumers' mindset. The use of qualitative data provides companies with information about why a consumer obtained a product. To plan, evaluate, or improve processes or goods, detailed explanations of people's interactions, emotions, and expectations may be used. Information is compiled in real life or a naturalistic manner.
  • The information collected can aid in future research. Participants are free to express their views because the questions used to gather qualitative data are open ended, resulting in more detail.

Disadvantages of qualitative analysis

  • Since collecting qualitative data takes more time than collecting quantitative data, fewer people are researching.
  • Smaller sample size is used unless time and budget allow it. Since there are fewer participants studied, extrapolating results from that sample is difficult.
  • However, huge volumes of text, data processing can be managed and documented via software. Usually, data processing is done manually.