What Is the Meaning of Quantitative Observation?

Quantitative means having to do with numbers
••• Numbers image by paul hampton from Fotolia.com

The word quantitative means "of, relating to, or expressible in terms of quantity," according to Merriam-Webster's Dictionary. "Quantitative observation" is defined by the University of South Alabama as "standardized observation." Simply put, quantitative observations are those in which the focus is the numbers.

Examples of Quantitative Observations

An example of a quantitative observation is "John spends $300 dollars a month in petty cash." Another is: "This is the fourth time in two weeks John has worked overtime." Both of these observations consist of hard numerical data, and are quantitative.

Qualitative Observations

Quantitative observations should not be confused with qualitative observations, or those pertaining to quality. The observation "John works hard, but seems distracted," is not quantitative; it refers to the quality of John's performance, so it is qualitative.

Use in Business

Situations in which emotionless, rational decision making is necessary, call for someone who can make purely quantitative observations. In employee evaluation for example, the numbers don't lie. Sticking to the facts can save your business time and, ultimately, money.

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