Approaches to qualitative data analysis
O to test O to discover commonalities, differences and
similarities O to examine the application and operation of
the same issues in different contexts.
The significance of deciding the purpose is that it will determine the kind of analysis performed on the data. This, in turn, will influence the way in which the analysis is written up. The data analysis will also be influenced by the kind of qualitative study that is being undertaken. For example, a biography and a case study may be most suitably written as descriptive narrative, often chronologically, with issues raised throughout. An ethnography may be written as narrative or stories, with issues raised, but not necessarily conforming to a chronology of events, and including description, analysis, interpretation and explanation of the key features of a group or culture. A grounded theory and content analysis will proceed through a systematic series of analyses, including coding and categorization, until theory emerges that explains the phenomena being studied or which can be used for predictive purposes.