How to Analyze Qualitative Data in 3 Steps

You usually do a lot of research while trying to gather qualitative data through surveys, interviews, online forums, focus groups or observations. In order to draw conclusions and publish the findings, you need to organize all the data you gathered, identify different trends and make connection between them. Let’s look at the following steps you need to take in order to do it successfully.


Transcribe the video/audio files

While doing research you may receive various amount of information. There will usually be audio/video interviews or observations you need to analyze but listening to audio or watching video for hours can be quite frustrating. What you need to do is transcribing it – converting it into a text using an automatic transcription software. Having a transcript makes it several time easier to analyze the data and scan through it. And it takes few minutes to transcribe hours of audio/video content. Use Voicedocs to get your transcript in fast, safe and cost-effective way.


Create and review codes

It is time to organize the data after having your transcript and other documents. Use colorful stickers, highlighters to make notes on the documents and transcripts. Highlight key words, phrases in order to make everything easy to categorize. Afterwards, you can use spreadsheet or different tools available to categorize the information to get sense of what it contains. Each piece of data should be approached in its own context. This process is called coding.
As soon as you categorize all the data it is time to look for the recurring trends, opinions and themes. For instance, which problems are the main concern to people living in Central Africa? Is there any connection between these problems? What solutions are they suggesting?
When you start to get similar answers to the same questions from majority of people, it means you are seeing a trend. In other words, there is a connection between the opinions. It is worth to note that if you do not get any repeating opinions/trends, you may need to continue with the research until you have one.


Conclusions and Report

If you are sure the feedback you got covers your research topic, you can have final report on it. It is important that you do not have any bias against the different opinions so your final report is as accurate as possible. Do not forget to compare your report with other similar research projects if there are any. Again, do not rush to draw any conclusions if you feel like all the information you have does not meet the expectations. Instead, go on with research until you are confident with the conclusion.