The Importance of Qualitative Data
Of course, how could we be talking about data without addressing the age-old debate: “What should I be using for my decision making—qualitative or quantitative data?”
DHBW Stuttgart, a university in Stuttgart that has expertise in data collection and empirical research: When asked about qualitative research or quantitative research, their answer was really no surprise: it depends on the problem.
Qualitative research involves gathering stories, experiences, ideas, and opinions directly from people, and may be through interviews or focus groups that aim to gather written or verbal descriptions and feedback.
Quantitative research, in contrast, involves cold hard data in numeric forms and may be gathered from internal data such as sales growth, or from customer surveys.
Qualitative data heavily influences the way businesses make decisions. So why does qualitative research matter so much to B2B companies?
B2B businesses rely on relationships with their customers/partners/clients, so a lot of the information gathered about a customer is not quantifiable.
B2B companies spend time gathering feedback from sales personnel about their clients.
A great B2B company puts their clients first, adapts their business decisions to their clients’ needs, and works towards building a long-term business partnership with their customers.
In order to understand the customer there must be constant communication, and therefore a lot of the data B2B companies possess is simply an understanding of their customers.
This qualitative data can be as simple as direct conversation between sales staff and the client, addressing the client’s direct needs.
Even the most successful companies find success in simple qualitative data.
So if you’re a B2B company and your company relies heavily on qualitative data to drive your decision-making processes, your company is not alone.