All about qualitative research

What is qualitative research?

Qualitative research seeks out the ‘why’, not the ‘how’ of its topic through the analysis of unstructured information – things like interview transcripts, emails, notes, feedback forms, photos and videos. It doesn’t just rely on statistics or numbers, which are the domain of quantitative researchers.
Qualitative research is used to gain insight into people’s attitudes, behaviours, value systems, concerns, motivations, aspirations, culture or lifestyles. It’s used to inform business decisions, policy formation, communication and research. Focus groups, in-depth interviews, content analysis and semiotics are among the many formal approaches that are used, but qualitative research also involves the analysis of any unstructured material, including customer feedback forms, reports or media clips.
Collecting and analyzing this unstructured information can be messy and time consuming using manual methods. When faced with volumes of materials, finding themes and extracting meaning can be a daunting task.

What is qualitative research software?

Understanding NVivo 8. How its features and capabilities can be used in your next project. Play video.

Understanding NVivo 8

How its features and capabilities can be used in your next project.
Qualitative research software like NVivo, helps people to manage, shape and make sense of unstructured information. It doesn’t do the thinking for you; it provides a sophisticated workspace that enables you to work through your information.
With purpose built tools for classifying, sorting and arranging information, qualitative research software gives you more time to analyze your materials, identify themes, glean insight and develop meaningful conclusions.
“Computers are useful for administrative functions and at arranging and sorting data. What computers can’t do is think like a qualitative researcher. But the fact that computers don’t think is not a limitation at all; in fact, it leaves the researcher doing what they most want to do – the thinking.”
Gill Ereaut, Director,
Linguistic Landscapes, UK
That sums it up.

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DeafDave is a Deaf person who uses Auslan (Australian Sign Language). He is from Australia.
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