Quantitative is an adjective that simply means something that can be measured. For example, we can count the number of sheep on a farm or measure the gallons of milk produced by a cow.
In a world of abstract findings that can't be quantified, such as anger or memories, it's important to be able to measure what we can. Let's consider some examples of quantitative data.
Quantitative data is a bit like a countable noun. They both refer to things that can be counted, even if it seems like it'd take a lifetime to measure.
Here are some example of quantitative data:
- A jug of milk holds one gallon.
- The painting is 14 inches wide and 12 inches long.
- The new baby weighs six pounds and five ounces.
- A bag of broccoli crowns weighs four pounds.
- A coffee mug holds 10 ounces.
- John is six feet tall.
- A tablet weighs 1.5 pounds.
- 98% of the graduating high school class is going to college.
- In a first grade classroom, there are 12 girls and 9 boys.
- In an entire school, there are 523 students.
- The airplane can hold 93 passengers.
- The water in the deep end of the pool is nine feet deep.
- The apartment is 550 square feet in size.
- The number of letters in the alphabet is 26 and five of them are vowels.
- There are 10 city blocks in one mile.
- There were nine puppies in the litter.
- There were three hurricanes last year.
- The bed is 7 feet long and 4 feet high.
- My dog weighs 95 pounds.
- I received 20 emails this morning.
- There are 365 days in a year and 24 hours in a day.
- 5% of the people on the block didn't come to the party.
- There are nine birds living in a tree in the backyard.
- She owns 52 pairs of shoes.
- There are three sticks of butter in the sauce.
- The house has 20 windows.
- There are three silver cars in the parking lot.
- 80% of the shoes sold on Tuesday were black.
- It takes three minutes to heat soup in the microwave.
- She works five out of seven days each week.
- The restaurant served 180 people today.
- 75% of the staff are taking a vacation sometime this summer.
- It rained 25% of the days in September.
- 32 people attended the event.
- Last month, the store sold 342 bottles of soda.
- The woman weighs 178 pounds.
- Humans have 10 fingers and 10 toes.
- The customer bought two televisions.
- The cat ate four mice.
As we can see, quantitative information is measurable. It deals with numbers, quantities, and values. This form of data can be expressed in numerical form (i.e., amount, duration, length, price, or size). Since quantitative data is generated through statistics, it has a lot of credibility and is considered to be objective and reliable.
But, there's another important kind of data. That is, qualitative data. This is data that's descriptive in nature. It's usually not measurable, at least not directly, but rather it can be gleaned through observation. Qualitative data relies on adjectives and other descriptive words to indicate appearance, color, texture, or other qualities.
For example, you might say that one room is brighter than the other. That's qualitative data. However, you can also use scientific tools and instruments (like a light meter) to actually measure the level of brightness in the room and ascribe it a numerical value. When you do that, you get quantitative data. Next, learn the difference between data and information.
Science lovers appreciate the field of study's ability to provide sound, well-researched, and quantifiable answers. These answers are hard to dispute, given their factual foundation.