Writing up qualitative research

  There are specific challenges to writing up research based on qualitative data: there is a lot of data to present, complex stories to tell and conclusions that took a long time to develop. But some simple guidelines can help structuring any kind of research output based on qualitative methods, and help communicate the rich results that come from qualitative data.     Audience   There’s a very general statement

Qualitative Coding Systems and the Extended Mind

(This blog post is based on a talk I gave at ICQI 2019, as part of a panel with the excellent Silvana di Gregorio, Paul Mihas, Johnny Saldana and Charles Vanover) Sometimes it can seem that our bodies are doing things without us knowing about it. I would struggle to tell someone the PIN number for my bank card, but my fingers know it – they just automatically type the right sequence! In the traditional conceptualisation of the mind,

Stepping back from coding software and reading qualitative data

There is a lot of concern that qualitative analysis software distances people from their data. Some say that it encourages reductive behaviour, prevents deep reading of the data, and leads to a very quantified type of qualitative analysis (eg Savin-Baden and Major 2013).   I generally don’t agree with these statements, and other qualitative bloggers such as Christina Silver and Kristi Jackson have written responses to critics of

Upgrade from paper with Quirkos

Having been round many market research firms in the last few months, the most striking things is the piles of paper, or at least in the neater offices - shelves of paper! When we talk to small market research firms about their analysis process, many are doing most of their research by printing out data and transcripts, and coding them with coloured highlighters. Some are adamant that this is the way that works best for them, but others are a

Paper vs. computer assisted qualitative analysis

I recently read a great paper by Rettie et al. (2008) which, although based on a small sample size, found that only 9% of UK market research organisations doing qualitative research were using software to help with qualitative analysis.   At first this sounds very low, but it holds true with my own limited experiences with market research firms, and also with academic researchers. The first formal training courses I attended on Qualitative