Essentials of Analyzing Qualitative Research Data

Qualitative research primarily includes depth interviews and focus group discussions. Qualitative research involves deriving consumer attitudes, opinions & beliefs from responses which are typically unstructured in nature and mostly contains verbatims & quotes. It is unlike quantitative data analysis which follows a formula-like procedure that can be systematically and analytically applied.

Before listing down the method of data analysis, there are certain pre-requisites or best practices which must be followed in designing & executing a qualitative research:

  • It is imperative to define the research objective right by answering 5W’s & 1H (what, why, when, where, who and how). This would help direct the depth interview or focus group in right direction and hence would help derive the key themes of analysis.
  • All qualitative interviews/discussions must be video-graphed to not miss any verbatim or facial expression later.
  • It is also important to take notes of key points observed for easy memorability later (must for audio-graphed depth interviews).
  • Depth interviews should be conducted with single interviewer or limited number of interviewers to avoid variance in the method of interviewing
  • Laddering techniques can be used to produce deeper insights & understanding of consumer perceptions and needs. In this technique, the line of questioning proceeds from product characteristics to user characteristics or benefits and ultimately to values.
  • Analysis should begin immediately after focus group or a set of depth interviews are conducted, so that crucial points discussed are not missed.

Reading interviews multiple times to get familiar with your data is where most qualitative researchers start. More reading would help identify common patterns or themes across the data, which is called the thematic technique of qualitative data analysis. Thematic analysis emphasizes on pinpointing, examining, and recording patterns within data. It usually follows the below steps:

  1. Getting familiar with the research content (reading and re-reading)
  2. Referring interviewer notes alongside for deeper understanding
  3. Deriving keywords, top themes or ideas coming from the research data
  4. Reviewing themes to make sure they fit the research objective
  5. Identifying similarities and differences in themes to build stories or constructs
  6. Compare different stories and look for interpretations

It is important to not change the verbatims of respondents and present them in their original form.

Each theme/keyword need to be supported with list of insights & supporting verbatim. The final step which is report making involves stitching insights generated through all questions/sections of interview/group discussion together to arrive at comprehensive outcome/story which should answer the research objective.

Channelplay does a variety of focus groups and depth interviews. If you want us to conduct qualitative research, kindly fill the form at the bottom of this page or visit our website.

Topics: Market Research

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