Qualitative Analysis

Real-World Example of Qualitative Analysis

The idea behind quantitative analysis is to measure things; the idea behind qualitative analysis is to understand them. The latter requires a holistic view and a fact-based overarching narrative. Context is key. For example, a CEO who dropped out of college would be a red flag in some cases, but Mark Zuckerberg and Steve Jobs are exceptions. Silicon Valley is, for better or worse, a different beast. A look at McDonald’s Corp’s (MCD) financials a few years ago would have told you nothing about a looming backlash against cheap, unhealthy food. On the other hand, a purely qualitative approach is vulnerable to distortion by blind spots and personal biases. Quantitative measures can act as a check on these tendencies.

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