Understanding the Value of Qualitative Research - Essay Example

Published: 2023-09-20
Understanding the Value of Qualitative Research - Essay Example
Essay type:  Quantitative research papers
Categories:  Knowledge Data analysis Research
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1903 words
16 min read

Qualitative data is a measure of values or counts which are, in turn, expressed as numbers and are used for statistical manipulation. Qualitative data collection mostly involves the activities that are carried out to gather information. There are several steps employed during the process of collecting data, including identifying the participants to be involved in the study, making arrangements to acquire necessary authorizations from the various relevant individuals in the selected organizations, and the interested persons. Deciding on the nature and type of information to include in the study that is meaningful for the Qualitative research, looking for the appropriate tools that will be of great use when collecting information from the field and the final step is to implement the actual Qualitative data collection process effectively to obtain relevant information for the research.

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The first step, which involves identifying the participants for the study during the Qualitative data collection, should be handled with great care as it is the foundation for the research. (Creswel,2015). It involves deciding whether to study individuals or groups and locations to undertake the study. Once a decision has been made on the participants, the next action is to choose the number of people to get involved per given location Or the number of organizations to undertake the study on. At any given time, the researcher should be very cautious when making any decision. The decisions require that you choose while considering the people and institutions involved in the study. You should select a group of people who have the same features as you need to find out in your research (Snelson, 2016).

The decisions are based on some factors such as the persons or organizations to involve in the study, a format for analyzing the collection process, and finding the number and type of people to administer the research on. For instance, when carrying research on drug abuse and sexual harassment in the youths, one may select a particular school or several institutions. Within the school, you can choose a sample of students in a specified manner to provide the Qualitative data that will facilitate the research. There are different ways to obtain a sample from the available population. That is the probabilistic sampling, which defines the selected sample from the population that is representative of the rest of the population. This can be divided further into simple, stratified, systematic, and multistage sampling. The other type of sampling is then n-probabilistic sampling that consists of the snowball and convenience sampling (Snelson, 2016).

The next step that follows is seeking permission from the relevant authorities or those you are interested in. This should be done to make respondents aware of the study to provide correct data and make them cooperate during the data collection process. Several permissions are needed. For example, when an existing author's article is to be used as a collection tool, permission is required from the individuals who own the copyright of that tool. Also, when there is a need to obtain data from an organization's subjects, for example, a supermarket, permission is of necessity from the heads of the organizations before involving the persons of interest. This should be done in a formal order while defining the intentions of research correctly, the individuals to gather data from, and the amount of time that you will take with every participant as most organizations prefer to gain from any activity within their premises especially in the case of a business environment. They also don’t like to disclose all their secrets as their competitors would use this for competitive advantage. The researcher should clearly state how they will protect all the information they get from those premises when getting permission (Snelson, 2016).

After getting the permissions, the next step is the actual Qualitative data collection. It is at this stage that data that responds to the objectives and the hypothesis that had been formulated are collected. Proper decision-making skills are required to get only those data that are useful to the study(Snelson, 2016). They should be clearly defined to ease the step of analysis of the data. Different strategies ranging from questionnaires, interviews to observation can be used in the process of collecting data. Each method should be analyzed effectively to come up with the correct approach that will provide accurate data and answer the hypothesis. To decide on the information to collect, one should consider the origin of the data i.e., is it from an illiterate person? Or is it from the most influential people in society? And much more. The method in which the data is required, and finally the method used to obtain the information (Snelson, 2016).

The final step is to administer the data collection process. The data collection process should be carried out in the accordance with the stipulated objectives of the study. Every instrument should be used and the readings are done and recorded appropriately. Where approximations are required, it should range between the answer. there should not be cases of biasness while administering the information collection process as this would result in the collection of unnecessary data leading to incorrect conclusions(Snelson, 2016).

The collection process should also protect the organization’s and the person’s privacy. It should try a much as possible try to disclose what the participant is not ready to reveal in either a reason or another. The most common form of data collection is by the use of questionnaires. A correct procedure should be followed when administering the collection process. At any given time, a level ground procedure should be administered to reduce the level of biasness.

The questionnaires should be developed in such a manner they are easy to understand and answer. Most of the time it should short and precise and it should require the respondent to either provide the answer as true or false or provide a space that allows

In the cases where an observation technique is used, the participants should be made aware and a good relationship environment created so as to enable them to be at ease hence provide an effective data. The researchers also need to undergo several pieces of training on how to behave and administer the collection process by the use of observation skills. Since observation requires many skills to obtain the intended information(Snelson, 2016).

Observation majorly consists of activities such as counting which is the common form of data collection. Other forms may include observing the behaviors and conduct of the respondents. Hence the need to prepare them effectively.

The other technique that can also be used is the interview, focus groups, documents, and records. The researcher can organize to interview the participantsand record their responses clearly as required.

Vital steps for qualitative Data collection

When the data has been collected from the field, they should be analyzed effectively to enable the researchers to confirm if they have met their objectives. Analysis entails a number of activities such as arranging the information gathered from the field for analysis, conducting the actual analysis using the techniques available, providing reports and recommendations that need to be to be undertaken in the future from the results of the study (langbroek I, 2007).

Qualitative data can be analyzed through the following steps (Snelson, 2016); the initial step is to arrange and prepare the data that need to be analyzed in a correct order. This step is very crucial as it helps in saving a lot of time and help in avoiding mistakes that may arise during the data analysis process. The data is checked to ensure they are definite and clear and no mistakes is allowed in the process. The sole aim of research is to find a solution to given problem and find necessary recommendations relating to the situation at hand. So, the data should be checked for accuracy. This can be done through different ways such as taking a spot check the random assortment of the individuals who were involved.However, this method has got some challenges that should be taken into account and resolved appropriately. According to Creswell, he suggests that this method should be used when dealing with numerical data as the researcher can employ a computer database to get the addition of the columns of the spreadsheet and then interpret the data as required. A computer program has been developed to assist in cross checking the data. There are types of data that can be prepared for the analysis including; descriptive statistics that basically give out a summary of the several multiple discrete data points by use of a single number, the next is the correlation and finally inferential statistics.At this stage, one should decide on a way of arranging the data in a systematic way for easy analysis. After preparing data the analysis begins. The data is manipulated i.e. calculating the median, mode and the mean of the data and finding and comparing the variables of each selected information(Snelson, 2016).

This is then followed by presenting the information in well-defined and illustrated charts and tables. And finally, the results are discussed at length and monitored to see if the stipulated hypothesis have been answered and the objectives of the research have been met. Once this has been ascertained, the discussions are compared and contrasted with the existing literature and theories to see if there is any impact that has been initiated by the research. The results are further discussed and recommendations are made on the necessity of the future reaches based on the limitations that have been observed during the whole process from the data collection to analysis(Snelson, 2016).

During the first step of the data analysis according to creswel, the data that had been fed into the computer is continuously arranged in an order. And a decision is made on how the data is going to be analyzed. Either by the creation of scorecards and the likes. They are then handled by a computer software that is capable to handle statistics effectively and come up with presentable results. This step has got weight because if one decides to use a wrong software he or she will not be able to obtain a presentable report.

Also, the planning of the analysis of the information is important so as to ensure that the set objectives are met with the information at hand. For data to be analyzed effectively, the research team should ensure that only he necessary data that would ensure correct results are the ones that are used, accurate and well-established conclusions from the data should be withdrawn, the data that is required to ensure very correct decision making. Proper tools and equipment’s should be deployed for the analysis process. The data analysis skills can be enhanced through the following ways. Defining the relevant questions that need to be addressed during the analysis process. Second step is to define clear and definite measurement priorities, this can be decided into two ways, making decision on what to measure and the way to measure it. Next step is to collect the data to be used during the analysis process,the data is analyzed to ensure that it has addressed the hypothesis developed before the data collection process begun. Analysis constitutes the process of keeping track of the trends in the Qualitative figures and observing the differences and the similarities of the figures. For example, you can compare the variables of a table to determine the general trend within the figures.

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