What is Qualitative Data?

Qualitative data is the data that are not easily reduced to numbers. It is the type of data that can be generated from transcripts of individual interviews and focus groups, copies of documents, field notes from observation of certain activities and this data are related to opinions, values, concepts, and behaviors of people in social context.

Types of Qualitative Data

  •        Structured text,
  •        Unstructured text
  •        Audio recordings, music
  •        Video recordings

Qualitative data collection methods

  •        Observation: The researcher gets close enough to study subjects to observe (with/without participation) usually to understand whether people do what they say they do, and to access tacit knowledge of subjects
  •        Interview: This involves recording answers and asking questions in an in-depth manner from an individual or group on a structured, semi-structured or unstructured format
  •        Focus Group Discussion: Focused and interactive session with a group small enough for everyone to have a chance to talk and large enough to provide a diversity of opinions
  •        Other methods: Rapid assessment procedure, free listing, Pile sort, ranking, life history

What is Qualitative Data Analysis?

Qualitative Data Analysis is the collection of events and methods by which the data that have been collected into some form of interpretation, understanding, and explanation of the people and situations that we are investigating. The impression of QDA is based on interpretive philosophy to inspect the symbolic and meaningful content of qualitative data

Types of Qualitative Data Analysis

  •        Content analysis
  •        Narrative analysis
  •        Discourse analysis
  •        Framework analysis
  •        Grounded theory

Content analysis

Content analysis is the process of categorizing social or verbal data for the purpose of classification, summarization, and tabulation. The content can be examined on two levels

Descriptive: What is the data?

Interpretative: what was meant by the data?

Narrative analysis

Narratives are recorded experiences.

The researcher has to enhance every interview or observation which has narrative aspect and present them in an improved shape to the reader.

The main activity in the narrative analysis is to formulate on improved stories offered by people in diverse contexts and on their altered experiences

Discourse analysis

The process of analysing all types of written texts and naturally occurring talk. Analysts must focus on people’s way of language used in day to day situations, how they express themselves in a simple and straightforward way, how vague and indirect way of expressing and as the same phenomenon can be described in a number of different ways depending on context, they have to refer to the context when interpreting the message.

Framework Analysis

Familiarization: Transliterating & reading the data and identifying a thematic framework for coding, charting, mapping and interpretation.

Both from a priori and emergent issues using numeric or textual codes, charts created using headings from the thematic framework, and to identify a specific piece of data which correspond to different themes, searching for patterns, associations in the data are developed by the Initial coding framework.

Grounded Theory

Analytic induction

Starts with an inspection of a single case from a ‘predefined’ population in order to articulate a general statement about a population. Then the analyst scrutinizes another case to see whether it suits the statement

  •        If it does, a further case is selected
  •        If it doesn’t fit there are two options

Either the definition of the population is changed or the statement is changed to fit both cases in such a way that the case is no longer a member of the newly defined population. The next case is selected and the process continues. This method is only for a limited set of analytic problems for those that can be solved with some general overall statement

A consistent set of criteria for interpreting the quality using a variety of approaches to qualitative data analysis makes it difficult to provide. When an analysis of Qualitative Data is arbitrated as fruitful in terms of these criteria, we can accomplish that the goal of authenticity has been attained.