Qualitative and Quantitative Risk Analysis: A Quick Comparison Guide

Qualitative and Quantitative Risk Analysis A Quick Comparison Guide

Risk is an inherent part of any project; you must take the time to identify and analyze potential risks before work begins. Two well-established methodologies for risk analysis are qualitative and quantitative. But what are they, how do they differ, and how do you use them? In this article, we’ll define quantitative and qualitative risk analysis and give examples of how they can be used. Irrespective of the size or scale of your project, using one or both of these methods is essential for delivering on time and within budget!


What is Qualitative Risk Analysis?

Qualitative risk analysis is the process of scoring or rating risks based on a person’s judgment or experience. This type of risk analysis is often used early in a project when little is known about potential risks and their impacts.

Qualitative risk analysis is regarded as a project manager’s first line of defense against risks. It helps determine and eliminate potential detractors to the project’s success. It includes risks likely to cause severe harm to the project if left unchecked. Project managers can allocate their time and resources more efficiently by targeting the most dangerous risks firsthand.


What is Quantitative Risk Analysis?

Quantitative Risk Analysis is the process of calculating risks that are based on numbers and statistical models. This type of risk analysis is often used later in a project when more information about potential risks is known. The goal of quantitative risk analysis is to specify the impact risk can have on a project and to what degree.

Quantitative risk analysis identifies and prioritizes risks so they can be mitigated or controlled. By calculating each risk’s likelihood and impact, project managers can develop a more comprehensive understanding of which risks pose the biggest threat.

For data to be suitable for quantitative risk analysis, it must be:

  • Accurate
  • Consistent
  • Complete
  • Relevant
  • Timely


It also has to be studied for a long period of time or has undergone multiple observations. For example, in the past five projects, a quantitative risk analyst might have noticed that the probability of a particular risk materializing is 0.25 (or 25%). This implies that one can expect that risk to occur out of four projects.


Qualitative vs. Quantitative Risk Analysis: How Do They Differ?

Qualitative and quantitative risk analysis are two approaches to identifying, assessing, and prioritizing risks. The main difference between qualitative and quantitative is the basis for evaluating and analyzing risks. As mentioned earlier, qualitative risk analysis is based on a person’s judgment or experience, while quantitative risk analysis is based on numbers and statistical models.

Another difference between qualitative and quantitative risk analysis is the level of detail. Qualitative risk analysis is typically used to identify high-level risks, while quantitative risk analysis is used to identify more specific risks.

Finally, quantitative risk analysis is more suited for projects with a large budget and timeline, while qualitative risk analysis can be used for projects of any size.


Examples of Qualitative Risk Analysis

  • Determining potential risks that impact project success
  • Determining the likelihood of risks occurring
  • Assessing the potential impact of risks
  • Risk prioritization based on their level of severity, likelihood and impact


Examples of Quantitative Risk Analysis

  • Calculating the probability of a risk occurring
  • Measuring the potential impact of a risk
  • Determining the expected value of a project
  • Developing statistical models to predict future risks



The DataMyte Digital Clipboard is an easy-to-use workflow automation software that lets you create customizable quantitative and qualitative risk analysis forms. It also includes various features that make it easy to collect, track, and analyze data.

Some of the benefits of using DataMyte include:

  • Easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface
  • Customizable forms
  • Ability to collect data offline
  • Robust reporting and analytics features
  • Workflows and forms created can be used on any device


DATAMYTE and its Digital Clipboard is the ideal solution that lets you create the ideal quantitative and qualitative risk analysis template. Contact us today if you’re interested in learning more about how DATAMYTE can help you streamline your risk analysis process. In addition, we’d happily show you how our software can benefit your business.



Qualitative and quantitative risk analysis are both essential for effective risk management. Understanding the key differences between these two approaches allows you to choose the right one for your project. Depending on the size and scope of your project, you may even need to use both!



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