Qualitative analysis: What it is and how to begin


  • Dr. Margarete Sandelowski PhD, RN

    Professor, Corresponding author
    1. Department of Women's and Children's Health, School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
    • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, #7460 Carrington Hall, Chapel Hall, NC 27599–7460
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One of the most paralyzing moments in conducting qualitative research is beginning analysis, when researchers must first look at their data in order to see what they should look for in their data. Although temporally and conceptually overlapping processes, data analysis should be distinguished from interpretation. Practical suggestions for beginning analysis include getting a sense of the whole, extracting the facts, identifying key topics or major storylines and dimensionalizing their informational content, and using frameworks to reduce data. ©1995 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.