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Introduction to Qualitative Data Analysis (QDA)

What is Qualitative Data Analysis

Interviews, ethnographies and documents are typical sources of qualitative data which can be captured on audio recording or video, cameras, charts and most commonly, textual transcriptions. These texts, documents and recordings are analysed for their meaningful content and they are interpreted rather than counted or measured. More...

A- Z of Methodologies/Theoretical approaches

Before starting any qualitative research, let alone qualitative analysis, you should be clear what kind of theoretical approaches you will be using. Here is a review of some of the most common. More...

Preparing the data

The most important activity here is transcription. Although there is now good equipment for audio and video recoding (predominantly digital now) many researchers still find it imperative to transcribe recording and field notes. This is because their analysis will focus on the meaningful discourse and the symbolic interaction found in people's use of language, and having a transcription is still a very convenient way of getting to grips with the details of such discourses. More...

Writing as analysis

No matter what their methodological orientation, all writers on qualitative analysis agree about the importance of writing things down whether this is jotting down ideas, collecting field notes or creating a report of your work. More...

How and what to code

Coding is the process of marking passages of text (or parts of images or sections of a video recording) that are about the same thing, say the same thing or discuss things in the same way. These similar passages are marked with a name, the code, that is usually associated with a longer explanation of what the code means, what the passages have in common and, perhaps, a general interpretation of them. Codes support a thematic analysis of the content of the text (or images) and enable the rapid retrieval of text that represents common ideas, themes, rhetoric and approaches. More...

Analysis process

Qualitative data sets tend to be large, complex and detailed. The task of keeping on top of such a mountain of data so that each part is given a fair, balanced and equally thorough analysis should not be underestimated. There are techniques and procedures that can help with that. A common activity in qualitative analysis is comparisons. This is partly a creative process undertaken during coding. Passages of text and the events they talk about or their themes and topics, the phenomena they discuss, the way they are expressed or the form of words they use can be compared with those in other passages. In this way a more sophisticated understanding of the text can be gained and, perhaps, a more refined coding scheme can be developed. The data can also be examined for differences and similarities across different cases, times, events and themes in order to construct both a descriptive and explanatory framework. More...

The quality of qualitative analysis

Although much qualitative research is undertaken by researchers who have rejected the realist assumptions that underpin notions like the reliability, validity and generalisability of analysis, the need to ensure that it is of good quality cannot be escaped. There are several approaches and procedures that can be adopted to assist with the quality of analysis. More...

Writing up

Writing as your analysis proceeds makes writing up the final research reports easier. However, this is still not an easy process. More...

Training

A range of training is available in qualitative data analysis. More...

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