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Posted by Lindsey Colella on July 24, 2013
A question I often get when discussing online qualitative exercises is: what does the output look like? It’s true that qualitative data doesn’t come as easily packaged in a nice graph or chart as quantitative data does. In fact, how you analyze and captivatingly display qualitative results is a process that requires not only an analytical and logical mind but also a creative touch.
In particular, if you lack experience with qualitative data, it’s hard to find the story behind all the quotes and opinions you've received. I’ve put together a simple three-step process that you can use to begin synthesizing this information and creating your output.
Remember to remain neutral throughout this process. Of course, everyone has their hypothesis of what the research will reveal, but make sure you are looking at all sides. After you’ve completed steps one to three, evaluate the results. Look at those quotes that are saying something different. What is the undercurrent of information? Is there someone with a completely opposite view? This will help you: a) prepare for possible pushback, or b) find white space opportunities.
While this is only the tip of the iceberg, these are the three key steps I always employ when analyzing qualitative data. How do you typically approach your qualitative analysis? What else would you add to this list?
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