Statistics Interview Question: What is the difference between quantitative and qualitative data?

3 min readJun 17, 2024

It is very important to have a solid understanding of statistics in order to be able to grasp the intricate concepts of data science. With this in mind, the type of data that is present in a dataset is crucial to understand.

There are two types of data, being qualitative (categorical) and quantitative (numeric).

Qualitative variables

Qualitative data is descriptive and is expressed in terms of language rather than numeric values. It describes information and cannot be measured or counted, referring to words or labels used to describe certain characteristics or traits.

Examples of qualitative data are:-

  1. Gender
  2. Religion
  3. Marital status
  4. Native language
  5. Social class
  6. Qualifications

Advantages of qualitative data are:-

  1. It offers rich, in depth insights and allows the exploration of data.
  2. It is good for exploratory purposes.
  3. Qualitative research delivers a continuous element for continuous data.




I have five decades experience in the world of work, being in fast food, the military, business, non-profits, and the healthcare sector.