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Quantitative assessments are made by measuring data points with numerical units.
For example, minutes of downtime, number of engineers with an SSCP, and
predicting how often something might occur are all examples of quantitative
assessments. Qualitative assessments, on the other hand, are not the in realm of
numerical measurements. Instead, qualities are applied to the data to describe their
relationship to the outcome. For example, confidental, top secret, or public
information are qualitative assessments of data.
Quantitative assessments are similar to qualitative assessments in the fact that they
are used to predict or describe the outcome. They are different in that they describe
a data point's relationship to the outcome in different ways - quantiative assessments
use numerical units while qualitative assessments use descriptive words to show
relationships.
In my experience, the qualitative assessment of a user's virtual desktop is the first
step to identifying a problem. The user normally makes a qualitative assessment
about their desktop experience, like complaining that it is too slow (compared to
other times when it was not slow). This slowness is related to another quality about
the virtual desktop experience so I can understand what the problem actually is (the
screen isn't responding fast enough, the programs are not running as fast as they
should, or there is a significant delay in both of these qualities). Then, I get to work
with a quantitative assessment for the user. This would mean measuring their
latency from their endpoint to the desktop (measured in millseconds), their desktop
performance metrics (CPU contention, measured as a percentage of CPU availability
over CPU demand), or cluster performance (CPU wait time, measured in
milliseconds).
Ultimately, I think that quantiative assessments are the best way to assess risk.
Quantiative assessments are measurable and mathematical, and therefore objective.
You can set a goal to reduce or improve a metric by a certain amount because you
are able to break it down into units. Because the units are the same over time,
comparisons between historical and current data can be made (due diligence) to
ensure goals are being met. Qualitative assessments are subjective and therefore
could be measured differently between person to person
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