Creating output from Qualitative Data

Often people are found wondering, how would the output of qualitative data look like? Often researchers are of the opinion that the presentation of quantitative data is better as compared to the qualitative data. What is important in analysis of qualitative data is that apart from having an analytical and logical mind, it is important to have a creative bent of mind so that presentation is apt and accurate.

A simple three step process would help in the process of synthesizing of information and bring out an output.

  1. Do clustering of the chaos: It is important to identify what the majority of the participants are saying and responding. A list of themes and opinions should be created and group the responses according to the themes or categories created. It is the only way in which the analysis can begin for a sea of qualitative data and bring some outcome.
  2. Keep focus and logic in place: The sequence of qualitative data can only be created when the researcher does not get derailed by the comments that are off topic. Often there is distraction towards negative comments even when it is not what the outcome of the majority of the responses is. There should be focus on highlighting those key points in the sequential story of the analysis which add value and are interesting to share.
  3. Add life to the story: That is what is tricky. It is easy to give life to quantifiable data, but for qualitative data, it is always a challenge. It can be done by adding quotes to the data after breaking it into short and understandable chunks. At least three to four quotes can be added in each category. An element of creativity can be brought in by adding images or displaying the result in a creative way. Since conversion of qualitative data into infographics is difficult, the researcher should use more and more designing skills. It is more important to do that when this result has to be communicated to the outside audience. Just a sea of words and dry presentation of results may make it mundane for an outside reader.

Being neutral throughout the process is very important and though this is only vry fundamental information but it can help to pave the way when trying to cross the woods of qualitative data analysis

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