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Hard Data vs Soft Data

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Hard data is a verifiable fact that is acquired from reliable sources according to a robust methodology.
Soft data is data based on qualitative information such as a rating, survey or poll.

The Difference

Hard data implies data that is directly measurable, factual and indisputable.
Soft data implies data that has been collected from qualitative observations and quantified. This doesn't mean that such data is unreliable. In many cases, the best data available is soft data. It is common to base business decisions on soft data such as customer satisfaction and product reviews.


A medical study includes hard data such as the results of blood tests and soft data such as asking patients to rate their symptoms on a severity scale.


Soft data doesn't imply that data is weak, just that it is based on human observations.
There is much data that is neither hard nor soft such as measurable data that comes from questionable techniques or statistically insignificant sources.
Hard Data vs Soft Data
Hard Data
Soft Data
Data based on measurable facts from reliable sources and methodologies.
Data based on qualitative observations such as ratings, surveys and polls.


This is the complete list of articles we have written about data.
Abstract Data
Atomic Data
Big Data
Cohort Analysis
Dark Data
Data Analysis
Data Architecture
Data Attribute
Data Cleansing
Data Collection
Data Complexity
Data Consumer
Data Control
Data Corruption
Data Custodian
Data Degradation
Data Dredging
Data Entity
Data Federation
Data Integration
Data Integrity
Data Liberation
Data Lineage
Data Literacy
Data Loss
Data Management
Data Massage
Data Migration
Data Mining
Data Owner
Data Producer
Data Quality
Data Remanence
Data Risks
Data Rot
Data Science
Data Security
Data States
Data Transformation
Data Uncertainty
Data Veracity
Data View
Data Virtualization
Data Volume
Data Wipe
Decision Support
Deep Magic
Empirical Evidence
Event Data
Hard Data
Information Assurance
Legacy Data
Machine Data
Market Research
Master Data
Misuse of Statistics
Personal Data
Personal Information
Predictive Analytics
Primary Data
Primary Research
Qualitative Data
Qualitative Info
Quantitative Data
Raw Data
Reference Data
Small Data
Soft Data
Source Data
Statistical Analysis
Statistical Population
Structured Data
Transaction Processing
Transactional Data
Types Of Data
Unstructured Data
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