What is the similarity between qualitative and quantitative research?
These are market research terms and refer to the two main strands of market research: qualitative and quantitative.
In that respect then, these two types of research are similar in that they are both used to gather information from the general public, or target groups in the general public, such as mothers, students, professionals, women, men etc.
It is easier to ask how they differ rather than how they are similar. They are both important types of market research, but differ in their nature.
Whereas quantitative research collects hard facts which either consist of numbers or yes/no/don't know responses or strength of agreement (say on a scale of 1 to 10), qualitative research tries to gain access to 'looser' personal opinions and gather information that might not occur to the researcher or the company or organisation they work for. So quantitative research asks very specific well-planned questions which don't allow for any extra input from the individuals approached, whereas qualitative research asks more general questions (eg why do you like this product?) that do allow for unpredictable and unplanned input from the individuals approached.
For example, a toilet paper retailer might ask market researchers to carry out a survey of a quantitative nature. This might involve asking a number of individual households how many rolls they buy a month on average (the answer is a number, which is a quantity) and whether they always buy the same brand (this is a yes/no response, which can be quantified as a 1 for yes and a 0 for no).
However, they could commission a survey of a qualitative nature where they might ask some broader questions. For example, they could ask what the favored color of paper is for the household and why, and the favored type and why to which the person responding to the questionnaire might say, 'I like to buy paper whose color matches my bathroom' or 'I like to buy white paper because it looks the most clean', and 'I like padded paper with aloe vera because I have sensitive skin' or 'I buy recycled paper to be kind to the planet'. These types of responses, that access answers about views on the quality/nature of the product being bought, are more useful from a certain point of view because they provide much more 'human' information, that is like a picture ("pictures paint a thousand words"). However, all those responses need to be read by somebody, and a lot of it might be nonsensical or difficult to summarise when collected over hundreds of households. Specific, quantifiable questions however are much easier to collect and analyse (a computer can do most of it). The thinking aspect is done beforehand, by the market researcher or person designing the study. With
You may be considering a customer satisfaction survey for the first time. While you may have an idea of what is important to your customers, they may have a different view. An initial piece of qualitative research could identify their needs and priorities [I like soft toilet roll because I have sensitive skin] a subsequent quantitative survey could measure how satisfied your customers are that you are meeting those needs [How satisfied are you with the softness of the toilet paper? 1 - Very satisfied, it's very soft , 2 - It's ok, 3 - It doesn't feel like high quality paper].