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Difference Between Qualitative Analysis and Quantitative Analysis

Qualitative Analysis vs Quantitative Analysis

When conducting a research, it is very important to decide on the methodology depending upon focus of study. There are basically two ways to go about an analysis, qualitative analysis and quantitative analysis. There are many who cannot differentiate between the two concepts and think of them as same which is incorrect. If analysis can be thought of as a continuum, quantitative analysis lies at one extreme and qualitative would obviously lie at the other extreme. This article will explain the differences between the two terms decisively to remove all kinds of doubts.

If a person is stopped by the police to check if he is driving under influence, he is made to undergo a breath analyzer test. This test quickly confirms the presence of alcohol in his blood which is a confirmation of the fact that he is indeed driving under influence. This is an example of qualitative analysis. On the other hand, if the person is made to undergo a blood test and it confirms that alcohol percentage is 0.08 in his blood, it is said to be a quantitative test as the result comes out with numbers. Thus the major difference between a quantitative and qualitative analysis pertains to numbers and quantities.

The names of the two types of analysis are an indicator of the way analysis is conducted. When the analysis involves measurements and statistics, it is a quantitative analysis. On the other hand, non numerical analysis which deals with quality for example comparing traits, species, genus etc are considered to be examples of qualitative analysis. If you have to describe the color of a solution in chemistry lab, you are doing qualitative analysis, whereas if you wish to find out the quantity of solute needed in the solution to turn the color of the solution faint green, you are involved in a quantitative analysis.

Qualitative research often involves study of behavior and the reasons behind it. This type of analysis is more concerned with how and why instead of what, where and when which are more focused upon when conducting a quantitative research.

Qualitative analysis vs Quantitative analysis

• Quantitative analysis is concerned with measurements and statistics whereas qualitative analysis is focused upon quality.

• If you want to know whether a sample of water is toxic, you need qualitative analysis. On the other hand if you are interested in finding out percentage of compounds present in the sample, you need to conduct quantitative analysis.


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