Activity: Analyse and Discuss Your Data
After you have collected your data, you need to analyse and discuss them. Your data may be in any of a variety of forms, and the methods for analysing the data will vary. Select the general forms of analysis that you think you will be using:
- analysing words – the constant comparative method (coding, sorting and patterns);
- analysing numbers – understanding what numbers are saying and making your numbers meaningful to others (using statistics);
You are now analysing and discussing the data that you have collected, in whatever form. There is a wide array of analytical methods for handling the data that you have gathered, and these are tackled in the book, but here is a flow-chart summary, and some exercises to get you thinking.
Choosing the right statistical test for your data and your research can be difficult. You need to ask yourself some basic questions about what you need. Answer these simple questions to find the correct test for your work:
Analysing images can be an interesting alternative to relying on interview text and they can provide some of the information generated by more complicated field-based methods like observation.
Look at this image and then answer these three questions:
Q1: What is happening in this picture? Write down 8 things you can see.
Q2: What emotions can you see in this photo?
Q3: Pick one of the people in this photo and describe them in as much detail as you can. Why did you pick this person and what have you learnt about them?
Analysing text doesn’t have to be complicated; it is important however that you keep your questions precise and detailed. Read the extract below what do you think is happening? Why do you think that? What does the language in the text tell you?