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Lecture 10

Lecture 10 - Data Coding

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University of Ottawa
Political Science
Stephanie Mullen

Nov. 20, 2013 Data Coding The Analysis Process 1. Get to know your data 2. Focus the analysis 3. Categorize 4. Identify patterns and connections within and between categories 5. Interpretation Step 1 – Get to know your data  Good analysis depends on understanding the data. For qualitative analysis, this means you read and re-read the text. If you have tape recordings, you listen to them several times.  Write down any impressions you have as you go through the data. These impressions may be useful later.  Also, just because you have data does not mean it is quality data. Sometimes, information provided does not add meaning or value. Or it may have been collected in a biased way.  Before beginning any analysis, consider the quality of the data and proceed accordingly. Investing time and effort in analysis may give the impression of greater value than is merited.  Explain the limitations and level of analysis you deem appropriate given your data Step 2 – Focus the analysis Focus by question or topic, time period or event:  Focus the analysis to look at how all individuals or groups responded to each question or topic, or for a given time period or event. Organize the data by question to look across all respondents and their answers in order to identify consistencies and differences. Put all the data from each question together. You can apply the same approach to particular topics, or a time period or an event of interest. Focus by case, individual or group: One case such as one family or one agency One individual such as a first-time participant in a community program One group such as participants of a particular age group in a community program  Rather than grouping these respondents’ answers by question or topic, you organize the data around the case, individual or group and analyze it as a whole.  Or you may want to combine these approaches and analyze the data both by question and by case, individual or group. Step 3 – Categorize  Identify themes or patterns – ideas, concepts, behaviors, interactions, incidents, terminology, or phrases used.  Organize them into coherent categories that summarize and bring meaning to the text  This can be fairly labor-intensive depending on the amount of data you have. It involved reading and re-reading the text and identifying cogerent categories.  You may want to assign abbreviated codes of a few letters, words or symbols and place t
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