Analyzing qualitative data
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Analyzing Qualitative Data. After The Focus Group…. The researcher is left with a collection of comments from respondents Analyzing qualitative findings means discovering themes, patterns that emerge from these comments. The Rules of Qualitative Analysis.

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Analyzing Qualitative Data

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Analyzing qualitative data

Analyzing Qualitative Data


After the focus group

After The Focus Group…

  • The researcher is left with a collection of comments from respondents

  • Analyzing qualitative findings means discovering themes, patterns that emerge from these comments


The rules of qualitative analysis

The Rules of Qualitative Analysis

  • “Do the very best with your full intellect to fairly represent the data”

  • “Communicate what the data reveal given the purpose of the study”

  • Subjective application of analytical skills is the strength and weakness of qualitative research


Before analysis

Before Analysis…

  • Review the problem statement

  • Refresh on informational needs

  • Evaluate the sample’s “goodness of fit” or limitations

    • Demographic, psychographic

    • Absence of bias, confounders


Review the data

Review The Data

  • Audio/video tapes, transcripts, notes examined to

    • Improve data familiarity

    • Build understanding

    • Become attuned to intensity, strength of opinions expressed

    • Be a critical analyst


Uncovering themes

Uncovering Themes

  • Review verbatims for patterns in topic areas

  • Distinguish important themes from unimportant ones

  • Look for interrelationships among themes


Reporting the results the big picture

Reporting The Results: The “big picture”

  • Who were the respondents?

    • Age, gender, nationality

    • Education, work experience, etc.

  • What were they doing? (at any point during the discussion)

    • Current projects

  • When was data collected?

    • Time of day and year

    • How did it fit into their day?

  • Where did data collection take place?

    • Physical surroundings

    • Geographical location


Reporting the results the big picture1

Reporting The Results: The “big picture”

  • Why did they participate?

    • Motivations, both individual and organizational

  • How was data gathered?

    • Details of methods – recording, format, who was present, etc.


Reporting the results

Reporting The Results

  • Quotes to illustrate, but no numbers, no names

  • Alternative explanations

  • Make connections across respondent comments


Reflect on group behavior

Reflect on Group Behavior

  • Qualitative research analysis relies on

    • Organizing topics/patterns

    • Supporting stories

    • “Rich description”

    • Vignettes

  • Definitive conclusions, next steps


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