Why NOT qualitative data

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.

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This entry was posted in accounting, intangible assets, intellectual property, Symbolic data, theoretical drivel. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Why NOT qualitative data

  1. Pingback: Data analysis as a reflexive practice | price of data

  2. Sorry if this question does not seem to be very related to this topic but I still wanna ask why is intangible asset often undervalued? Is it because intangible asset is often hard to predict or measure so that undervaluing it is better than overvaluing it? I am not really good at econmics so please help me out! Thanks! 😀

    • markaustenwhipple says:

      I think you are correct, particularly when you say intangible assets are difficult to “measure.” For the most part, accounting is a mathematical exercise, and qualitative data are still seen as antithetical to such measurement.

      That said, my own view is that qualitative databases — huge chunks of qualitative data, put in searchable order — are on the rise. Twitter is the most profound example, at the moment.

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