Qualitative Research, 2 pages (300 words)

Essay on qualitative data

Qualitative data has been described as voluminous and sometimes overwhelming to researchers. However, researchers can organize and manage qualitative data in ways that can ensure that the data is not overwhelming. The reason why qualitative data is sometimes said to be voluminous and overwhelming to researchers is because it includes any information that is not necessarily numerical in nature. The fact that qualitative data is usually arranged into non-numerical categories may make it overwhelming. The best way to handle qualitative data is to organize it into groups or categories that have similar attributes. Such categories can be color, gender,height or physical characteristics among many others. A researcher can simply arrange the data into groups depending on common characteristics (Denzin & Lincoln, 2011). By doing this, it becomes easier for the researcher to understand the data that he or she is dealing with because the data is arranged into categories that are easy to understand and analyze. For example, if the data is categorized according to color, it is easier for a researcher to understand and analyze that data based on the similarities and differences in color.
Once qualitative data has been categorized into groups depending on the degree of similarity, researchers can organize and manage the qualitative data by using prescribed data analysis techniques. The techniques that can be used to analyze qualitative data include coding, recursive abstraction and other mechanical techniques. Coding ensures that data is organized and easy to interpret. Recursive abstraction involves the summarization of datasets, then further summarizing the summaries until it becomes simple to understand the data. Mechanical techniques involve the counting of coincidences, phrases or words within the data (Patton, 2002). All these methods can reduce the voluminous and overwhelming nature of qualitative data.

Works Cited

Denzin, N. K., & Lincoln, Y. S. (2011). The SAGE Handbook of qualitative research (4th ed.). Los Angeles: Sage Publications.
Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research & evaluation methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

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