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Qualitative Risk Analysis vs Quantitative Risk Analysis Explanation Please

Qualitative Risk Analysis

What is qualitative risk analysis?

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(Agent, JKS Solutions, Inc.) |

The best book, or at least in the top 5 of current thought about modeling risk is Johnathan Mun's book "Modeling Risk - Applying Monte Carlo Risk Simulation, Strategic Real Options, Stochastic Forecasting, and Portfolio Optimization"

He defines Qualitative as follows:

"Qualitative forecasting is used when little to no reliable historical, contemporaneous, or comparable data exist. Several qualitative methods exist such as the Delphi or expert opinion approach (a consensus building forecast by field experts, marketing experts, or internal staff members), management assumptions (target growth rates set by senior management), as well as market research or external data or polling and surveys (data obtained through third-party sources, industry and sector indexes, or from active market research.) These estimates can be either single-point estimates (an average consensus) or a set of prediction values ( a distribution of periodictions)...the latter can be entered into [a risk simulator] as a custom distribution."

He defines Quantitative as follows:

"Quantitative forecasting, the available data or data that need to be forecasted can be divided into time-series (values that have a time element to them, such as revenues at different years, inflation rates, interest rates, market share, failure rates, and so forth), cross-sectional (values that are time independent, such as the grade point average of sophomore students across the nation in a particular year ... or mixed panel (mixture between time-series and panel data), for example predicting sales over the next 10 years given budgeted marketing expenses and market share exist to help model the forecast predictions)."

My comments: Today one of the trends to to develop sets of predictive data - from Mr. Mun's discussion, that predictive data is an example of Qualitative data and Quantitative data can be used to assist the forecast based on those predictions.

I'm sure someone will come along with a shorter definition.

Topic Expert
Regis Quirin
Title: Director of Finance
Company: Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP
LinkedIn Profile
(Director of Finance, Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP) |

Quanitative Analysis is statistcially based analysis - large data set population, mean, medium, mode, probability, distributions... Conclusions are backed by statistics.

Qualitative Analysis is more directional in nature and is usually performed with a small sample size. The easiest way to think about it - Focus groups provide qualitative results. You can take the results and add numbers to it and perform statistical analysis, but as your sample size is small, it should be considered directional only.

Qualitative analysis at times is the pre-cursor to an exhaustive Quantitative analysis.

Hope that helps.

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