Qualitative Data: The Humanity Behind Statistics
As an Impact intern at D-Rev, I help process data from our customers around the world to gauge the impact of our products. During my first week here, I was gratified to see the importance D-Rev places on both quantitative and qualitative data. While numerical metrics like “number of countries using Brilliance” and “deaths and disabilities averted” can provide valuable information, they only reflect a portion of our work’s impact.
One aspect of D-Rev’s unique approach is that we are “user-obsessed.” We care about everyone who will come in contact with our products, including manufacturers, distributors, healthcare practitioners and patients.
However, numbers can abstract the humanity that is at the core of our mission. This is where qualitative data, in the form of interviews, surveys, pictures, and videos can enrich our impact assessments. This data allows us to connect with the human impact of our work, recognizing that behind every statistic is a person with a medical condition and a worried family. By highlighting this humanity, we can connect more easily to those we serve, which in turn reaffirms our passion for D-Rev’s work.
Cognizant of the way qualitative data bolsters quantitative data, D-Rev incorporates both into our annual reports, blog posts, and presentations. In order to not lose sight of the people who benefit from our devices and to put our work into perspective, it is helpful to reflect on the insight of people we are helping. The input gathered from our fieldwork continually inspires us at all points of the design, development, and evaluation process.
In fact, we are currently preparing for two teams to conduct fieldwork abroad, where they will be listening to the people who use our products tell us about their experiences, the challenges they face, and what they think we should do to help. This qualitative “data” will reveal much more about our impact than numbers alone. Below is a link to one of my favorite past blog posts, detailing the story of Agung, a man from Bali whose life was impacted by D-Rev’s ReMotion Knee.
Through stories like Agung’s, D-Rev can learn to grow its impact using not only numerical data from our devices, but also qualitative data from the people around the world who use our products.