In a previous post I expressed why companies might want to invest in qualitative data: intangible assets are often under-valued, and qualitative data can help uncover the hidden value sitting around in your company.
There’s also good reason why a company should not invest heavily in qualitative data, and it comes down to this: qualitative data have not been shown to be inherently valuable. The insight that results from qualitative data often is valuable, but unlike quantitative data, there is no uniform process of uncovering the insight. Everybody codes in a different language. In other words, qualitative data are quite possibly only as valuable as the analyst doing the analysis. Lose the analyst, lose the value.
My position is that both positions are right…qualitative data are indeed under-valued, but also problematic.