Whether conducting qualitative research or quantitative research, you first need to know certain things about each. Quantitative research has its own set of characteristics; likewise, qualitative research is also helpful in many other ways. The selection of a suitable research method depends on the researchers’ area of interest and goals to achieve. Thus, this article aims to gain insights into ways to organise thoughts in qualitative research. Moreover, to highlight the importance of qualitative research, we will first describe its importance, then discuss its organising process and end this article on the significance of organising qualitative data in research.
1. How can qualitative research be helpful?
Qualitative research includes collecting, analysing and interpreting contextual data to understand concepts, experiences and opinions. This type of research is very important for creating new ideas, irrespective of the discipline. Moreover, it is exactly the opposite of quantitative research, which aims to address a problem by either collecting statistical data directly or by converting the quantitative data into qualitative data. Qualitative researches are helpful due to several reasons. Similarly, it is inexpensive and easy to conduct. It helps us unite participants and respondents at one platform, and the data quality is under the researcher’s control.
In one way, qualitative research is helpful as it aims to gather content-rich data for evaluating a situation. The data involved in such research is often in participants’ responses, some events and situations. The statements, opinions, experiences, and responses do not need statistical analysis techniques. Thus, such research seems less expensive and easy to conduct. Furthermore, in the case of studies, surveys, and observations, the researcher remains in direct contact with the participants, so this method helps gather first-hand data. This first-hand qualitative data collection boosts students’ confidence regarding the credibility of sources. Lastly, it lays the foundation of a new strategy and policy based on previous high-quality research, for example, a systematic literature review. Therefore, qualitative research facilitates research and development in countless ways. You can hire PhD dissertation writing services in case of any issue in qualitative research.
2. How do you organise qualitative research?
Qualitative researches help students in investigating or assessing situations or processes by collecting non-numerical data. The hands-on practice of this type of research reveals that qualitative research is more than just non-numerical data collection. Rather, the organisation of qualitative data is also a difficult task in academic writing. The organisation demands a researcher to follow certain techniques to better structure research. In general, there are five steps in the organisation of qualitative data, namely:
2.1 Selection of a clear file naming system
In the data organisation process, identification and naming is the key. For this, one should first select a good file naming system that will help better organise qualitative data.
2.2 Well-developed data tracking system
The organisation of qualitative data also wants us to establish a well-developed tracking system. The data-tracking system is not necessarily a part of all qualitative research. But in some large projects, we need to make a good data tracking system. Large projects are often completed by the division of tasks between different team members or even students from different departments. Thus, the data tracking system helps maintain a consistent flow and avoid feedback conflicts in work compilation.
2.3 Document transcription and translation procedure
After tracking, the next important step in data organisation must be transcription or translation. For translating and transcribing the data, you need to focus on the type of formatting that is advisable for transcription. What kind of multi-language translational techniques will be good? What confidentiality procedure one should use? How much time does one need to transcribe the data? And many more questions.
2.4 Formation of data quality control system
The transcription steps in the data organisation further need a well-established quality control system. The quality control should run with the transcription process, side by side, for quality assurance. This organisation process in research is necessary to locate mistakes timely.
2.5 Estimation of a realistic timeline
The data organisation process ends on estimating and planning a realistic timeline for making strategies and techniques for qualitative research. After this, these researchers move on to the next phase (thematic analysis or content analysis).
As a big picture, the qualitative studies in the data organisation process consist of developing file naming systems, data tracking systems, transcription/translation procedures, and quality control systems. Afterwards, it ends on estimating the realistic timeline to lead researchers towards the analysis phase.
3. Why is it important to organise qualitative data
Qualitative researches include the collection and analysis of non-numerical data. The non-numerical data is usually in the form of responses and statements. Thus, the organisation of ideas, thoughts and statement need special attention in this research. As described above, for the organisation of qualitative data, we need to develop some tracking, planning and controlling system. The organisation through these systems is necessary as it eliminates feedback conflict. It makes the categorisation and theming of the data easier. The file naming system aims to prevent confusion that often arises in data analysis steps. The quality check control system works to sort data for a longer time frame without compromising its quality. Apart from all these, qualitative data organisation techniques are important because they help us observe the patterns in collected data more keenly. Thus, broadly, the data organisation helps in arranging the thoughts, ideas and other concepts systematically.
Consequently, qualitative research aims to deal with the non-statistical type of data. For creating a meaningful scientific story, you do not need to run any statistical package in these researches. Rather, thematic and content analysis techniques are most common to deal with this data. Moreover, qualitative research never ends in data collection, but we need several data organisation and analysis techniques. The qualitative data organisation process includes the development of some identification, tracking, quality, and transcription/translational procedures. Each system serves a specific function to data analysts. Therefore, the overall benefit of organising thoughts, ideas, and other qualitative research data is to arrange them systematically.