Types Of Data

Data is organized into the following two broad categories:

1. Qualitative Data:

- Qualitative data are often non-numerical and usually descriptive in nature. It means the data collected is in the word or sentence structure. Sometimes, such kind of data captures feelings, emotions, or subjective perceptions of something.

- The main objective of qualitative approaches is to address the “how” and “why” of a program by using the unstructured methods of data collection to fully explore the topic. Qualitative methods consist of focus groups, group discussions, and interviews. These approaches are used for further exploring the effects and unintended consequences of a program.

2. Quantitative Data:

- Quantitative data can be mathematically computed as it is numerical in nature. Quantitative data uses different scales, which can be categorized as nominal scale, ordinal scale, interval scale, and ratio scale. The main aim of Quantitative data is to address the “what” of the program. A systematic standardized approach is used that employ a method like surveys and ask questions.

- The benefit of these approaches is that they are cheaper to implement, are standardized so it can be differentiated easily and the size of the effect can be measured simply.

3. Mixed Methods:

- Mixed methods combine both qualitative and quantitative research data, techniques and methods within a single research framework. Mixed methods approaches may signify several things, i.e. various types of methods in a study or using a mixture of qualitative and quantitative methods. Mixed methods capitalize on strengths and reduce weaknesses that stem from using a single research design. This approach can increase the validity and reliability of the research.

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