Research Hub – Quantitative and qualitative data – Short description
There are two main branches of data, these are quantitative and qualitative data.
Continuing with the question ‘do young people that transition from primary school to secondary school have high levels of anxiety?’, we have decided to collect anxiety data to measure this.
But what exactly is anxiety data? How can we measure anxiety? The answer is there are numerous ways to measure anxiety. We might choose to use a questionnaire with rating scales that students can complete in class. The information gathered from these questionnaires would be quantitative data, because it consists of a quantity or amount – for instance the student scored a 4 on the anxiety scale, or 5 students answered ‘yes’ to whether they felt nervous about their transition to secondary school.
This gives us a great indication of the anxiety levels of the whole class, but also each student individually, relatively quickly. But there are other ways to measure anxiety that are also valuable.
For instance, if we wanted to know about the experience of the anxiety when transitioning to secondary school, we could ask students to fill out open-questioned questionnaire, or ask the questions verbally, like in an interview. This would be qualitative data, because it describes qualities or characteristics of what you are measuring.