How to Quantify Qualitative Results

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Qualitative results are challenging to interpret because the information you gather is descriptive. It reflects how people think and feel about a circumstance. The diverse responses make it difficult to draw conclusive insights.

However, there is a way to quantify qualitative results. Here is a simple 5-step approach.

  1. List the potential responses you could think of to the question you pose.
  2. Group these potential responses into a handful of categories – let’s say you are gathering feedback on a product feature. From the list of potential responses, you determine there are four categories you could use:
    1. Feature works amazingly well
    2. Does what is expected
    3. Needs improvement
    4. Doesn’t do what it’s supposed to

For each category, describe what belongs there. How well you define the categories will determine the quality of the feedback you gather. The more specific the category descriptions are, the easier it is for the participants to align their responses.

  1. Assign a value to each category – for the four categories we’re looking at, you can assign a 3 to “works amazingly well”, 2 to “does what is expected”, 1 to “needs improvement”, 0 to “doesn’t do what’s supposed to.”
  2. Review the response you receive and count the responses you receive in each category.
  3. Compute the total score – simply multiple the score for each category with the number of responses for that category and add them together. For our example, the total score is 192.

The total score could be used as a baseline you refer to as you improve that feature. You could compare it with other brands if you were doing market research.

Though it is a crude score, it is a simple approach you could use to quantify qualitative results.

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