Saturday, 17 January 2009

Analysis paralysis

Paralysis is what happens when you come to qualitative analysis. It's the weakest part of what they teach you - how to analyse qualitative data. As I work my way through with
I think it all feels as qualitative an approach to analysis as the data that I'm analysing. And the analysis is only another layer on top of what is already there - it's my view of the interviewees' views.

I think I learned a more about analysis of these sort of soft systems when I was tutoring systems (T301) years ago. Checkland's approach included identifying climate, process, facts, structure and queries, but it was the climate and process that revealed the issues. Even Miles and Huberman have picked up on those two.

So I have a framework that gave me my interview questions from which I've elicited data, and the main thing now is to explain how I've found these themes, or found any findings. I have to make the links back and that's the hardest bit - writing coherent and logical links. Perhaps it's my writing that is paralysed.

Miles, M. B. and Huberman, A. M. (1994) Qualitative data analysis : an expanded sourcebook, (2nd Edn), Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks. 758
Peled, D. A. (2001) 'Outsourcing and Political Power: Bureaucrats, Consultants, Vendors and Public Information Technology', Public Personnel Management, 30 (4), pp. 495. 475

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