Qualitative Data Analysis: Emerging from the Data

Erlinda Castro-Palaganas

At the end of the session, we will be able to: 1. Describe the intellectual processes and subprocesses that can play a role in qualitative analysis; 2. Describe activities that qualitative researchers perform to manage and organize their data; 3. Discuss the procedures used to analyze qualitative data (general procedures); and 4. Describe interpretation and writing concerns in qualitative inquiry.

Qualitative Analysis: General Considerations
Qualitative analysis is a labor-intensive activity that requires creativity, conceptual sensitivity, and sheer hard work. Qualitative analysis is more complex and difficult to do well than quantitative analysis because it is less formulaic.

2. for three major reasons: 1. there are no universal rules for analyzing and summarizing qualitative data .Qualitative Analysis: General Considerations Data Analysis is particularly challenging for qualitative researchers. reducing the data for reporting purposes . the enormous amount of work required. and 3.

rich descriptions and explanations of processes in identifiable local contexts ‡ Preserve chronological flow ‡ See precisely which events lead to what consequences. derive fruitful explanation .Nature of qualitative data: Writing Research methodology ‡ In the forms of words rather than numbers ‡ They are rich and ³sexy´ ‡ They are a source of well grounded.

another researcherthan pages of summarized numbers .Nature of qualitative data: Writing Research methodology ‡ Get beyond initial conceptions/pre-determined research methodology ‡ Generate and revise conceptual frameworks/ methodology ‡ WORDS. have a concrete. a practitioner. especially organized into incidents or stories. meaningful flavor that often proves for more convincing to a reader-a policy maker.

So«back to the question: How do we go about analyzing the data? .

Qualitative Analysis Involves the process of: Data Management Data Analysis .

coherent process of data collection.What is Data Management? Operations needed for a systematic. storage and retrieval .

. and c) retention of data and associated analyses after the study is complete. accessible data b) documentation of just what analyses have been carried out.These Operations Are Aimed At Ensuring: a) high-quality.

What is Data Analysis? A process that requires astute questioning. active observation. of linking seemingly unrelated facts logically. and of attributing consequences to antecedents. of recognizing the significant from the insignificant. of making the invisible obvious. and accurate recall. A process of piecing together data. a relentless search for answers. . of fitting categories one with another.

What is Data Analysis? It is a process of conjecture and verification. . of correction and modification. of suggestion and defense. It is a creative process of organizing data so that the analytic scheme will appear obvious.

summarizing. identify significant patterns and construct a framework for communicating the essence of what the data reveal . reduce the volume of information. and interpreting data obtained for each study unit or for each group of study units ‡ To make sense of massive amounts of data.What is Data Analysis? ‡ It is a matter of describing.

which are the process in which phenomena become classified in particular ways. political processes. how phenomena are constructed. social. Qualitative analysis depends on researchers¶ theoretical perspectives: ‡ 1) Interpretivism (meanings) Human being make sense of their place in the world. symbolic meanings within its context) ‡ 2) Constructionism: how we see things is the result of historical. understand from the point of view of participants.What is Data Analysis? ‡ Unlike quantitative approach which have well developed data management and reduction and interpretation. we can understand meanings. who has the power to produce legitimate classification .

Theoretical Perspectives/approaches ‡ Feminist Approach ‡ Critical Approach ‡ Political Economy Approach ‡ etc .

Theoretical Concepts Empirical Data Research Questions .

economic and political context . ‡ Historical. attitudes Meanings. but also underlying worldviews and ideologies. symbols Expressive modes (social acts. social practice rather than just behavior) ‡ Power relations ‡ Macro level: more than laws and policies.General Principles: What are we looking for? ‡ ‡ ‡ ‡ Experiences and feelings Perceptions.

What is Data Analysis? Involves four cognitive processes namely: 1. 3. Recontextualizing . Comprehending. Theorizing and 4. 2. Synthesizing.

. comprehension is completed when saturation has been attained.´ When comprehension is achieved. Thus. qualitative researchers strive to make sense of the data to learn ³what is going on.Data Analysis Comprehending Early in the analytical process. and new data do not add much to that description. researchers are able to prepare a thorough description of the phenomenon under study.

researchers can make some generalized statements about the phenomenon and about study participants. At this stage. researchers get a sense of what is typical with regard to the phenomenon and what variation is like. . At the end of the synthesis process.Data Analysis Synthesizing Synthesizing involves a ³sifting´ of the data and inductively putting pieces together.

Data Analysis Theorizing Involves a systematic sorting of the data. researchers develop alternative explanations of the phenomenon under study and then hold these explanations up to determine their ³fit´ with the data. . The theorizing process continues to evolve until the best and most parsimonious explanation is obtained. During the theorizing process.

Data Analysis
The process of recontextualization involves the further development of the theory such that its applicability to other settings or group is explored. In qualitative inquiries whose ultimate goal is theory development, it is the theory that must be recontextualized and generalized.

Data Analysis
Contains three linked sub-processes: data reduction, data display, and conclusion drawing/verification


Data Collection Data Display Data Reduction
Conclusions: Drawing/verifying

Data Analysis is a continuous interactive process.

Data collection period: ----------------------2.DATA DISPLAYS -----------------------------------------During Post 4.DATA REDUCTION -------------|-----------------------------------------Anticipatory During Post 3.Components of Qualitative Data Analysis 1.CONCLUSION DRAWING --------------------------------------------During Post .

‡ DURING data collection as interim and early analyses are carried out. ‡ AFTER data collection as final products are approached and completed. during study design and planning. .‡ BEFORE These processes occur before data collection.

simplifying. bulky. which research questions. focusing . the data that appear in written-up FIELDNOTES or TRANSCRIPTIONS ‡ Data reduction occurs continuously through out the life of any qualitative research project even before the data are actually collected ‡ Make decision which conceptual framework.jump from one topic to another .What is Data Reduction? ‡ The process of selecting. which case. abstracting and transforming. which data collection approaches to choose ‡ Interviews/FGDs fieldnotes-fragment.

themes ‡ Identify themes and patterns ‡ Summarizing data: Making clusters. writing summaries. domain evidences. reactions. 2) main issues being discussed. reflexivity:feelings. identify patterns. exclusion ‡ Coding. exact context. observation. list data belong together . events. index-categories²mechanism to organize and classifying data-compare between cases.thoughts (researchers/informants (fieldwork) ‡ Selection. continue after fieldwork until final report is completed ‡ Sorting Data: 1) People met. situations (mundane) experienced.Data reduction: As data collection proceeds.(analytical) 3) writing memos.

and organizes data in such a way that ³final´ conclusions can be drawn and verified ‡ ³Data condensation´ . which patterns best summarize a number of chunks. discards.Data reduction ‡ It is part of analysis ‡ The researcher¶s decisions---which data chunks to code and which to pull out. focuses. sorts. which evolving story to tell---are all analytical choices ‡ A form of analysis that sharpens.

Data Reduction Data is reduced in an anticipatory way as the researcher chooses a conceptual framework research question/s cases instruments .

There s so many things I have to do for her. Most of the time I m glad I have her but I don t know. It s a Lot of work. I don t like to get up until noon but I can t now because I have to feed her and 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 Changes More Responsibili ty Ambivalenc e Interferes . Sometimes I wish I would ve waited longer.Data Reduction Tell me how your life has changed since you had the baby? It s a lot harder now.

29 30 *Marriage 14 15 16 17 18 19 #Reason *Parent *Love . but it really was because we were in love and that s why is happened. IN-5: yeah. it did force it. It s really not because my stepfather pushed it.Data Reduction INFORMANT: 5 SV: REASON I: Can you help me understand some of the reasons this is happening? IN-5: the reason that it happened to me is because my stepfather. But I did love the guy I married and that s why it happened. Cause we were going married. he wouldn t let me go out or anything and. I guess I got snotty or something. I: Uh huh. but not that soon. Did you feel that by having a baby then that would force the issue.

Coding Finding Themes Clustering Writing Stories Data Selection and Condensation .Actual Field Notes. Other Data Available Data Summaries. Interviews. Tapes.

(sexual) networks. graphs. . etc. verbatim (narrative). stories. matrices. compressed assembly of information that permits conclusion drawing and action ‡ Let the data/phenomena speak for itself ‡ Case studies.charts.What is Data Display? ‡ An organized. pictures.

.What is Data Display? an organized. inevitable part of analysis. compressed assembly of information that permits conclusion drawing and/or action taking second.

MORE FOCUSED DISPLAY INCLUDE: Structured summaries Synopses Vignettes Network like or other diagrams Matrices with text rather than numbers in the cells .

patterns.What is Conclusion Drawing and Verification? ‡ Involve the researcher in interpretation: drawing meaning from displayed data ‡ After noting regularities. possible configurations. theorizing. explanations. propositions ‡ Final conclusions. reflexivities .

Tactics used: comparison / contrast noting of patterns and themes clustering use of metaphors to confirmatory tactics such as: triangulation looking for negative cases following up surprises checking results with respondents .

Involves: Reading and re-reading notes and transcripts. recalling observations and experiences. listening to tapes. viewing videotapes Immerse yourself with the data or ³dwell with the data´ .

 place codes and device coding methods.This happens when you:  transcribe the interviews yourself. .  make memos and  develop propositions in the process.  make reflective remarks while dwelling with the data.

clustered. sorted. and linked over time. .Data Transformation Information is condensed.

themes and subthemes categories and subcategories Structural meaning units of data . abstracting and transforming the ³raw data´ or clustering data which are similar.The actual process of data analysis usually takes the form of selecting. simplifying.

TAXONOMIES and COMPONENTS to help the researcher cluster information and discover the meanings intended in what is observed and heard.Data could be further broken down into DOMAINS. .

.Once all the themes relevant to the study are explicated. the researcher will write them up in a way that is meaningful to the intended audience.

The combined process of REFLECTION. IMAGINATIVE THINKING. . and SIFTING and ANALYSIS of evidence from the data could guide the analysis of the data.

A DESCRIPTIVE ANALYSIS could be a starting point and the end point of analysis is the IDENTIFICATION of conceptual categories. .

The categories and subcategories may reveal overlaps but will be confirmatory rather than contradictory .

Descriptive Observations Domain Analysis .

Domain Analysis Taxonomic Analysis Components .

. these guide the presentation and interpretation of findings. once done.Data Analysis involves: Rearranging the different domains. taxonomies and components Considerable time to immerse oneself with the data to be able to identify the theme and subthemes However.

.Data Analysis entails: Data reduction as the reams of collected data are brought into manageable components for interpretation Making sense out of the files if a difficult task.

Fig. 2. INTERACTION BETWEEN DISPLAY AND ANALYTIC TEXT Suggest Re-Analysis Integrate / Elaborate Suggest Comparison Make Sense DISPLAY ANALYTIC TEXT Summarize See Themes/Patterns/Clusters Discover Relationships Develop Explanation .

Interpretation From Field to Text to Reader Writing or Story Telling to self significant others public .

Writing Concerns Sense-making Representation Legitimation Desire .

Making Moving from field notes to actual writing process What will be written about What will be included Who will it be represented.Sense . etc. .

the ³other´ the author¶s place in the reflexive texts that are produced self-presentation first person (I.Representation voice. we. ³etic´ . audience. our) ³emic´ vs.

Legitimation understanding the phenomenon not generalizability audit trail demonstrate trustworthiness or rigor of data. .

Desire pleasure of the text writing as a creative of discovery and inquiry .

Thin vs. Thick description THIN DESCRIPTION simply states a set of facts independent of intentions or circumstances THICK DESCRIPTION gives the context of an experience. states the intentions and meanings that organized the experience reveals the experience as a process Arises a text¶s claims for truth or its verisimilitude .

or deep. emotional understanding Authentic understanding is created when readers are able to live their way into an experience that has been described and interpreted .Interpretation creates the conditions for authentic.

revised and choreographed sample.built.shelf patterns Custom .doc .the .Remember: Interpretation/s Is/are not copyable Off .

Y. Sage Publication . N. Handbook of Qualitative Research. and Lincoln.S. Sage Publications. Morse. Critical Issues in Qualitative Research Methods: Edited by J. Miles in Denzin. CA. Michael Huberman and Matthew B.M.References: Data Management and Analysis Methods by A. 1994.K. 2000. USA.

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