The term quantitative data is used to describe a type of information that can be counted or expressed numerically. This type of data is often collected in experiments, manipulated and statistically analyzed. Quantitative data can be represented visually in graphs, histograms, tables, and charts.
Some examples of quantitative data include exact counts ('there were 789 students who attended the rally') or a type of measurement ('it was 78 degree Fahrenheit yesterday at 2 PM').
Quantitative data can be contrasted with qualitative data, which involves describing things in terms of categorizations or qualities.
So how do researchers decide which type of data is the right kind to use for a given situation? The About.com Market Research website has a great article on how to choose between quantitative and qualitative data.
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