Nice article. Agree that UX researchers should have a broader toolkit than simulated user studies. The Conversion rate optimisation field and traditional UX research field have plenty to learn from each other.
Personally I don’t think that there is a clear distinction between quant and qual data.
Research logs / web analytic data can be both quantitative or qualitative based on how you interpet or use this data. And vice versa for usability studies. Eg is a visual heat map based on 1000's of data points qual or quant?