Quantitative vs. qualitative data

Quantitative vs. Qualitative Data
Quantitative vs. Qualitative Data

Getting the right data about your website is the key to increase the interactions with your users. Understanding user behavior and to know what they want is a guide in order to make the user experience better.

Almost every website uses various tools and metrics in order to measure user behavior. It is quite possible to have user data via many tools, free or paid. Even though lots of these data are obtained by quantitative research, we can obtain these data in two ways: quantitative or qualitative. Quantitative data gives us the numeric data while qualitative data submit behavioral information.

Quantitative vs. Qualitative Data

While acquiring data for websites, there are two main but indistinguishable methods: qualitative and quantitative data.

Quantitative data generally includes statistical information. It is raw data that contains general outcomes of the website. It submits us the information which brings out, for instance, how many people visited your website in a month, or how many times your pages are viewed. The average time spent on your website or the demographical status of your users is just a couple of examples of the things deducted from these numerical data.

Qualitative data contains undigitizeable factors such as user behavior or their feelings. They generally submit to you the user’s individual experience. Some of the methods to acquire qualitative data are cursor focus, aimless surfing, angry clicking or surfing records.

Quantitative data allows you to determine the ups and downs on your website but it does not show their causes. It can detect a specific decline in the conversion rate of a page but it does not submit the data that provides to detect the factors of this decline. This makes an obstacle to creating responsive solutions. Besides that, you can get the visiting numbers or sales figures by quantitative data but you can’t get the answers for like, why does the customer not buy, what are the factors of purchasing decisions or what does the customer feel after purchasing.

Qualitative data allows you to measure the user’s individual experience but it doesn’t give you a general picture. They require a serious amount of manual intervention and it is hard to make it automated.

Which is better?

Both measuring methods have their pros and cons. You need to operate these two coordinated in order to make your website fully operational. You can measure your interactions with your users and spot the weak and strong points in these data via a quantitative research model. After this, you can focus on the reasons for these spots with the help of qualitative methods. You can detect what the users do and where they focus on your website, then you can take your steps according to it.

To sum up, you can render the insights coming from the quantitative data by determining the reasons and motivations through qualitative data. Quantitative data shows us the problem, while quantitative data tells which settings you should apply and why you should do them. In order to reach the solution, quantitative data answers “what”, “where”, “when” and “who”; and qualitative data answers “why” and “how”.

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