Quantitative Data Management

Step 1: Familiarize yourself with appropriate software

Programs worth exploring include:

  • NVIVO, MAXqda, The Ethnograph – used for indexing, searching and theorizing
  • ATLAS.ti – can be used for images as well as words
  • CONCORDANCE, HAMLET, DICTION – popular for content analysis.
  • CLAN – popular for conversation analysis

Step 2: Log in your data

It is rare that qualitative comes in at the same time, or in the same form, and can end up being a lot messier than a pile of questionnaires, so it is wise to keep track of your qualitative data as it is collected.

Step 3: Organize your data sources

This involves grouping like sources, making any necessary copies, and conducting an initial cull of any notes, observations, etc., not relevant to the analysis.

Step 4: Read through and take overarching notes

It is extremely important to get a feel for qualitative data. This means reading through your data as it comes in and taking a variety of notes that will help you decide on the best way to sort and categorize the data you have collected.

Step 5: Prepare data for analysis/transcription

If using a specialist QDA program, you will need to transcribe/scan your data so that it is ready to be entered into the relevant program.

Step 6: Enter data/get analysis tools prepared

If you are using QDA software, you will need to enter your electronic data into the program. If you are manually handling your data, you won’t need to ‘enter’ your data, but you will need to arm yourself with qualitative analysis tools such as index cards, whiteboards, sticky notes, and highlighters.