Chapter 9: Data Analysis, Interpretation and Presentation

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The in-depth activity at the end of Chapter 9 depends on the work you completed for the in-depth activity at the end of Chapter 8.

It is likely that you will have gathered some qualitative and some quantitative for the in-depth activity at the end of chapter 8, so consider each aspect of the data carefully. For example, any 'comments' fields in a questionnaire will be qualitative data. To determine whether the qualitative data can usefully be translated into quantitative data, we suggest you re-read Box 9.1 and then consider how useful such a translation would be, and which quantitative measures would be appropriate.

The analysis parts of the activity follow the analysis steps outlined in the chapter text. For example, first consider how to enter the data into a spreadsheet to make sure that appropriate observations can be drawn out from the analysis. Then think about what, if any, graphical representations will help data interpretation. Reviewing Section 9.3 will help here.

To identify themes in the qualitative data, you could start by writing down some initial suggestions, based on your reading of the data. These can then be confirmed or refuted by repeated reading of the data during which you search for confirming or disconfirming evidence. In this way the categories will be emergent.

The analysis of critical incidents requires you to focus on specific events and to unpack them and their consequences. Remember that a critical incident may be a positive or a negative event.

Finally, in preparing and presenting the findings, be careful not to overstate the conclusions. If you've collated data in support of the arguments as you've progressed through the analysis, then this will be easier to do. It's good practice to be rigorous about the data analysis so that findings can be substantiated.