Data Analysis Techniques
Utilizing the file attachments, begin an analysis of the core content by identifying patterns and themes. Take an initial ?first cut? at organizing the data into topics and categories. Look at what is there and give it a name. This is called ?coding.? Codes are used to assign meaning. Look for ?convergence,? i.e., what things fit together. Coding is a process, not an event. Immerse yourself into your field notes. Continue your analysis by further differentiating codes, clustering codes, or even renaming codes if this would help clarify the meaning of the code.
Look for recurring regularities in the data that may reveal patterns that can be sorted into categories. Categories can be illuminated with regard to “two criteria: internal homogeneity and external heterogeneity” (Patton, 2002, p. 465).
Include the following:
Identify a classification system (codes, colors, categories, etc.) of themes or patterns based upon what appears to be most illuminative. What themes or patterns emerged from your notes?
What are your main interpretations of the patterns of interaction that you have observed and identified?
Develop a synopsis of your interpretations, and any organizing principles of interaction that you observed.
Identify your reactions while analyzing the data.
Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research & evaluation methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.