A Step-by-Step Guide to Qualitative Data Analysis

An Excerpt



Collecting information, which researchers call data, is only the beginning of the research process. Once collected, the information has to be organized and thought about. Quantitative analysis uses data to provide answers which can be expressed numerically. Qualitative analysis, which this paper discusses, is more concerned with meaning. Data is a word which describes valid information that can help a researcher answer his/her question(s). It can come from many different sources:

  • Notes/observations Interview tapes and transcripts
  • Newspaper clippings Personal journal
  • Surveys/questionnaires
  • We’ll be focusing on analyzing data from one-on-one individual interviews.

So Now You’ve Got Some Data…

Start the analysis process by “getting to know” your data. You do this by
listening to your tapes, transcribing interviews from tape to paper, and reading
over the written transcripts.

  • After doing this, you might have a general feeling or idea of what people
    are saying and what your results are looking like;
  • but, you’ll be surprised at how much more information is contained in your data once you start going deeper and begin a systematic and rigorous analysis!

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