What QUANTITATIVE data can't do

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On Feb. 15th CES-NS hosted a professional development event offering two workshops on the subjects of Logic Models and Qualitative Evaluation. The day was a success and we had some fantastic discussion about both issues.

One of our discussions centered around the value and credibility of qualitative data as compared to quantitative data. Today I came across an article from the NY Times about the limits of quantitative data (referred to here as ‘big data’) that stated some of the key points of our discussion well. The article clearly articulates the value of qualitative data for understanding organizations and their programs and for making decisions. It is an interesting read and reminds us that no matter how much data we have we must remember to THINK. In the data rich world we live in today we need to be mindful of the temptation to quantify everything and take time to ensure we are aware of the limitations of quantification.

The article can be found here: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/19/opinion/brooks-what-data-cant-do.html?nl=todaysheadlines&emc=edit_th_20130219&_r=1&

Posted by:

Dr. Nancy Carter,

Vice President CES-NS

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