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The Little Book of Big Decision Models by Dr. Jim McGrath

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MODEL 3

USING QUANTITATIVE (HARD) AND QUALITATIVE (SOFT) DATA IN DECISION MAKING

Use this to justify to sceptics your use of qualitative data.

McNamara (see Model 2) argues for the inclusion of qualitative data in decision making, but what exactly is qualitative data? Quantitative and qualitative data collection methods are often represented as opposite ends on a single spectrum, but this oppositional view isn’t very helpful. The truth is most research contains elements of both approaches.

Qualitative data is ‘soft data’. It seeks to record people’s attitudes, beliefs, feelings and perceptions. By its very nature the data collected is complex, impressionistic, personal, and rich. To collect qualitative data researchers use observations, interviews, ...

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