A lot of students confuse those two terms, taking them as interchangeable. But even though they sound similar, they have different meanings.
Qualitative research is mainly an investigatory research. It aims to get and present broad reasons, opinions and intentions. Such a writing provides readers with insights into the problem or develops ideas and options for quantitative research. The term ‘qualitative’ comes from ‘quality,' so it is not about the number, but about the content.It may reveal trends and tendencies in thoughts and opinions, and think of a deeper qualitative understanding of a discussed problem. The methods used for such research are varying from unstructured to semi-structured techniques. Standard methods include focus groups (general panel discussions), interviews and participation, as well as observation. The size of groups are typically small (for the convenience of the researcher), and the chosen respondents have to fulfill a given quota.
Quantitative research, on contrary, concentrates on numbers and statistics of an issue, rather than on its meaning and understanding. This type of the investigation is used to quantify an issue by producing numerical data that can be converted into a useful statistics. So, the research is aimed to quantify opinions, attitudes, behaviors, reactions, everything that could be counted, and then create a general result from the large population. This research technique uses measurable data only, and by measurable I mean countable. Thus, it formulates facts and uncovers patterns in research. This method is also much more structured than, for example, a qualitative one. It includes different forms of surveys, like online, paper, mobile, etc. It can also include face-to-face interviews, website investigations, systematic observations or lengthwise studies. It is considered to be more objective, for it provides the results of observed facts and effects (interpreted by researchers) on the issue or condition.