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Quantitative Data Analysis

in
Human Performance Technology

What
Quantitative analysis operationalizes concepts, testable hypotheses, and
observations in terms of quantitative concepts, mathematical relationships, and
quantitative data.

Like analysis of qualitative data, it tries to make meaning about the data based on
patterns, but it often uses algebraic, calculus-based, or statistical methods of analysis to
make sense out of the patterns (e.g. correlations) across collected and analyzed
numerical data.

Examples of quantitative data in human performance technology include:
Number of people impacted
Number of a given result or outcome achieved
Number of costly behaviors
Number of worthy performances
Number of seconds, minutes, hours, etc. invested
Number of dollars invested, allocated to a budget, or earned

Examples of quantitative concepts in human performance technology include:
Human Capital = Leisure = Time x Opportunity
Worthy Performance = [Value / Cost] = [Valuable Accomplishments / Costly
Behavior]
Potential for Improving Performance = [Exemplary Performance/Typical
Performance]
Behavior = Performance x Environment
Performance Gap = Desired Performance Current Performance
The above formula can be operationalized and expressed in both quantitative
and qualitative terms, concepts, and data.
Return on Investment = [Gains from Investment Costs of Investment] / Costs of
Investment

Examples of quantitative relationships
More than, less than, or equal to
Proportional or inversely proportional to
Correlated with
Averages
Totals

Why / When

Useful if you are trying to measure a performance gap in terms of quantitative
concepts, relationships, or data
Useful if your HPI initiatives involve specified target improvements in quantitative
improvements
Useful for gathering and analyzing data in order to make mathematical sense out
of it (to try answering why is this happening?)
When you need descriptive observations; useful for describing quantitative
properties of the phenomena that occur, but not useful for explaining why
phenomena occur
Useful when you are planning to mix methods with qualitative methods to either
(a) identify and measure performance improvements in terms of both quantitative
and qualitative properties or (b) use qualitative methods make meaning about the
results of quantitative analysis

Analysis Methods
Some analytical tasks common to all qualitative methods:

1. Collection of data: recording and entering data
2. Organizing the data: not just mechanical management of unstructured
qualitative data, but also planning for how it will be analyzed within a
mathematical framework with mathematical functions and models
3. Exploring the data: becoming familiar with the data sets after they have
been analyzed within a mathematical model
4. Interpreting and reflecting: visualizing the analyzed data sets to facilitate
the ways we can make meaning about it
5. Integrating the data: connecting it to other knowledge, studies,
comparisons or sources of data

Software Tools & Technologies
o SPSS, Mathematica/Wolfram Alpha, Matlab, SAS, R, LISREL, AMOS,
Eureqa

Tools for basic collection, computation, & display of data
o Surveys

Resources
Examples of quantitative methods used with qualitative methods to analyze healthcare
quality improvement efforts:
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19289649 (mix qual and quant methods)

References

Gilbert, T.F. (2007). Human competence: Engineering worthy performance. San Francisco:
Pfeiffer.
Knezek, G. A., & Christensen, R. (2014). Tools for Analyzing Quantitative Data. In Handbook of
Research on Educational Communications and Technology (pp. 203-220). Springer New
York.
Rothwell, W.J., Hohne, C. K., and King, S.B. (2007). Human performance improvement: Building
practitioner competence.