According to Martin Allwood,there are several diverse ways of distinguishing the differences betweenquantitative and qualitative research. First, “to focus on one part of theresearch process that is then baptized qualitative or quantitative”. The secondoption was ” to describe specific research methods as either qualitative orquantitative”. Finally, he believed the third option was “to differentiatebetween a qualitative and a quantitative research philosophy” (Allwood,2012)..
The truth is, when people think about quantitative, they thing about somethinglong and extensive; and when they think about qualitative, they think aboutsomething precise and accurate. However, in the end, “both quantitative andqualitative research designs seek reliable and valid results”(Park & Park,2016). Quantitative and qualitativeresearch methods vary in many aspects, their purpose, the type of sample theyutilize, the type of data they collect, the way the data is analyzed, and moreparticularly the outcome of each method.
According to a research on qualitativeand quantitative methods in marketing, “qualitative research aids inidentifying potential hypotheses, whereas quantitative research puts hardnumbers behind these hypotheses. Qualitative research seeks to find out whatpotential consumer perceptions and feelings exist around a given subject. Thisresearch can often be used to advise the design of quantitative research, whichrelies on numerical data to demonstrate statistically significant outcomes.” (Ion,Sorin, Ion, 2009).For years now many researchers have debated how to make thedistinction between the two, and how or why each should be used. As of today,many believe that qualitative research methods should be used in secondaryresearch because it uses existing data, while quantitative research should beused when conducting primary research. In other words, some people believe that “qualitativeresearch isn’t so much about numbers as it is about people” (J. Fatterros).
Qualitative research is about opinions and feelings while quantitative is moreabout hard data and numbers. According to Gloria Barczak, “withquantitative studies, the researcher identifies a theory that relates to thetopic being studied, develops hypotheses based on this theory, and then teststhose hypotheses with data that either confirms the hypotheses or not. Writingup quantitative research generally follows a logical structure that includes:introduction, theoretical framework, conceptual model and hypotheses, methods,results, discussion, implications, future research, and limitations. Mostqualitative research, by contrast, typically follows an inductive approach toadvance and build theory. With induction, the researcher begins with specificobservations about an area or question of interest”(Barczak, 2015).
In conclusion, thereexists a fundamental distinction between two types of data: qualitative andquantitative. The way we typically define them, we call data ‘quantitative’ ifit is in numerical form and ‘qualitative’ if it is not. In reality the distinctionbetween the two and their use is much more complex and much more subjective; however,it remains an accurate way to make the distinction (Mcleod S, 2007).