Effective businesses know how to harness both quantitative and qualitative data. You’re a modern brand conducting business with modern consumers, both online and in person. If records exist of every interaction that your customers make with your brand, how do you know you are using them to their fullest potential? The type of data that you are utilizing makes a considerable difference in the business decision-making process.

Finding social listening data like that thanks to Synthesio can be both qualitative and quantitative in value, but what does it mean? Let’s review.

What Is The Difference Between Quantitative and Qualitative Data?

We are able to observe and record qualitative data. This data type is non-numerical. There are many ways to collect this data, such as methods of observations, one-to-one interviews, conducting focus groups, and similar techniques.  In statistics, this is also known as categorical data – data that can is arrangeable categorically based on the attributes and properties of a thing or a phenomenon.

Quantitative data, on the other hand, is any quantifiable information that is usable for mathematical calculation or statistical analysis. This form of data helps in making real-life decisions based on mathematical derivations. We use quantitative data to answer questions like how many? How often? How much? This data can be validated and verified.

It’s pretty easy to understand the difference between qualitative and quantitative data. Qualitative does not include numbers in its definition of traits, but rather qualities, whereas quantitative is all about numbers.

Need an Example?

Let’s take a look at these concepts through the lens of social listening.

Say you’re a tea company looking to understand your online presence, and what products your customers interact with most online.

A Share of Voice widget measuring the volume of mentions about your brand would be quantitative. If 74% of the conversation is about green tea, that constitutes quantitative information.


However, measuring top keywords, for example, would be qualitative data. If the top five keywords used in mentions are “drink,” “beauty,” “herbal,” “natural,” and “vitamin,” it is clear that these words describe qualities about your brand, therefore being qualitative.


How Can Qualitative Data Help Me As A Marketer?

For a market researcher, collecting qualitative data helps answer questions like who their customers are, what issues or problems they are facing, and where they need to focus their attention.

Often, compelling qualitative data reveals essential things about consumers that you might not have known by looking at numbers. These insights include gathering information about the emotions or perceptions of people and what they feel.

Advantages of Qualitative Data

  1. Aids in-depth analysis: Data collected provides researchers with a detailed analysis of subject matters. While collecting this type of data, the researchers tend to probe the participants and gather ample information by asking the right questions. They then use collected data to make conclusions from a series of questions and answers.
  2. Understand what customers think: Qualitative data helps the market researchers to understand the mindset of their customers. The use of this data gives businesses an insight into why a customer purchased a product. Understanding customer language helps market research infer the data collected more systematically.
  3. Rich data: We can use collected data to research in the future as well. Since the questions asked to collect qualitative data are open-ended questions, respondents are free to express their opinions, leading to more information.

How Do I Get Started?

Now that you know why qualitative data is essential for businesses, how do you collect and implement it? One great way that people can begin utilizing qualitative information is by harnessing the power of social listening.

Synthesio’s best-in-class Social Intelligence Suite allows marketers to efficiently detect critical trends in the data and information that you are pulling. Additionally, newly released Noise Reducer cleans out the junk mentions and makes sure your data set includes only relevant mentions. From top keywords and sentiment analysis to demographic data, see how leveraging Synthesio’s qualitative data can help you understand your customers.

To read how qualitative data found using Synthesio’s solution helped a major global CPG company make the decision to rethink the sustainability of their packaging practices, click here.