One of the most obvious ways to categorize information is by whether it is quantitative or qualitative. Some sources contain either quantitative information or qualitative information, but sources often contain both. Many people first think of information as something like what’s in a table or spreadsheet of numbers and words. But information can be conveyed in more ways than textually or numerically.
Quantitative Information – Involves a measurable quantity—numbers are used. Some examples are length, mass, temperature, and time. Quantitative information is often called data, but can also be things other than numbers. Quantitative data tends to be more objective and finite, with numerical or single word answers that cannot be interpreted as opinion.
Qualitative Information – Involves a descriptive judgment using concept words instead of numbers. Gender, country name, animal species, and emotional state are examples of qualitative information. Qualitative data can be both objective and subjective as it can contain open ended answers from survey participants as well as finite or single word answers.
Access Services & Library Information: 508-999-8750
Main Campus Telephone: 508-999-8000 • Reference Help Line: 508-999-8678 • Contact Reference
Claire T. Carney Library • University of Massachusetts Dartmouth © 2018
285 Old Westport Road, North Dartmouth, MA 02747-2300