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ANALYSING QUALITATIVE DATA

Sofia Fernandes
ANALYSING QUALITATIVE DATA
Types of Qualitative Analysis Processes
Deductively based Analytical Procedures
Inductively based Analytical Procedures

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QUALITATIVE DATA
All non-numeric data or data that have not been quantified
and can be a product of all research strategies.
It can range from a short list of responses to open-ended
questions in an online questionnaire to more complex data
such as transcripts of in-depth interviews or entire policy
documents.
To be useful these data need to be analysed and the
meanings understood.

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DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN QUANTITATIVE AND QUALITATIVE DATA

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TYPES OF QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS PROCESSES
There is no standardised procedure for analysing qualitative
data. Despite this, it is still possible to group data into three
main types of processes:
1. summarising (condensation) of meanings;
2. categorisation (grouping) of meanings;
3. structuring (ordering) of meanings using narrative.

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TYPES OF QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS PROCESSES
1. Summarising (condensation) of meanings:
Summarising, involves condensing the meaning of large
amounts of text into fewer words.
Through summarising you will become conversant with the
principal themes that have emerged from the interview or
observation and how to explore these further in
forthcoming data collection sessions.

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TYPES OF QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS PROCESSES
2. Categorisation (grouping) of meanings:
It involves two steps: developing categories and, subsequently,
attaching these categories to meaningful parts of data.
Categories refer to codes or labels used to group the data. They
provide a structure.
After defining the categories, the specific units (parts) of
qualitative data are assigned to each of the categories. The
categories can be revised throughout the process which might
lead to a reorganisation of data.
It is a selective process, which has the eect of reducing and
rearranging the data into a more manageable and comprehensible
form.
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TYPES OF QUALITATIVE ANALYSIS PROCESSES
3. Structuring (ordering) of meanings using narrative:
This form of analysis focuses upon the stories told during the
interviews, working on their structures and plots.
Narrative analysis can be used to create a coherent story from
the data collected during an interview.
It shows the nature of the participants engagement, the actions
that they took, the consequences of these and the relationship
events that followed, without losing the significance of the social
or organisational context within which these events occurred.
Narrative structuring, as a story with a beginning, middle and
end, usually follows a perceptible structure.

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DEDUCTIVELY BASED ANALYTICAL PROCEDURES
Pattern matching: predicting a pattern of outcomes based
on theoretical propositions. Using this approach, it is
required to theoretical framework, utilising existing theory,
and subsequently test the theory. If the pattern of the data
matches what was predicted through the conceptual
framework, then an explanation is found.
Explanation building: attempt to build an explanation
while collecting data and analysing them, rather than
testing a predicted explanation (as in Pattern Matching).
The theory is tested but in an iterative way.

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INDUCTIVELY BASED ANALYTICAL PROCEDURES
In an inductive approach, by avoiding a predetermined
theoretical basis, it is possible to search for and recognise
meanings in the data and to understand the social context
and perceptions of the research participants.
All the explanations that were found through the analysis of
the data, however, still need to be compared with the
existing theory.
The use of an inductive approach may require a long period
of data collection and concurrent analysis in order to
analyse a theme adequately or to derive a well-grounded
theory.

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INDUCTIVELY BASED ANALYTICAL PROCEDURES
There are specific procedures to analyse qualitative data
such as
data analysis;
template analysis;
analytic induction;
grounded theory;
discourse analysis; and
narrative analysis.

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CONCLUSION
Qualitative data are non-numerical data that have not been
quantified. They result from the collection of non-
standardised data that require classification and are analysed
through the use of conceptualisation.
Qualitative analysis generally involves one or more of:
summarising data, categorising data and structuring data
using narrative.
The processes of data analysis and data collection are
necessarily interactive.
Qualitative analysis procedures can be related to using either
a deductively based or an inductively based research approach.

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