Qualitative Data Management and Organization

QualitativeData Management and Organization

Qualitativeresearch results to voluminous data from a wide variety of sources.Qualitative data sources include personal interviews that may bewritten or recorded in audiovisual material, questionnaires, surveys,observation notes and official documents. To further complicatematters, in most qualitative researches, there are multipleresearchers and a myriad of participants or respondents. Extricatingand coding qualitative data from multiple sources can be a difficulttask that may overwhelm the researcher. However, appropriate datamanagement and organization makes it much easier.

Theutilization of proper strategies in data collection, management,organization and analysis of the voluminous qualitative dataestablishes trustworthiness of the research. Specific strategies thata researcher can use to manage and organize qualitative data include(Lorraine, Millsand Airasian):

  • Training of coders and interviewers,

  • Varying the recruitment of participants,

  • Uniformity in data collection

  • Comprehensive data cleaning

  • Developing a data analysis conceptual framework,

  • Consistent coding through scheduled meetings and regular communication between coders and important members of the research team,

  • Using data organizing software such as N6TM software, and

  • Creating an all-inclusive audit trail with both internal as well as external audits.

Also,the following recommendations can come in handy to assist researchersensure thoroughnessfor studies that produce enormous qualitative datasets (Andrewet al, 61-67):

  • Rigorous documentation of the process of data collection as well as analysis,

  • Organization of the research by one person,

  • Attention to timeliness,

  • Application of the iterative model for collection and analysis of data,

  • Maintaining updated back ups for the data management system,

  • Chronological, genre, event, quantitative or topical arrangement of researcher commentary and field notes,

  • Making available of the necessary resources to ensure timely completion, and

  • Allowing for time to reflect and diversify.

Followingthese techniques will help researchers manage, organize andaccomplish thorough, qualitative research studies when faced withhuge data sets to resolve multifaceted health services studyquestions.


Gay,Lorraine R., Geoffrey E. Mills, and Peter W. Airasian.Educationalresearch: Competencies for analysis and applications.Pearson Higher Ed, 2011. Print.

McAfee,Andrew, et al. &quotBig data.&quot Themanagement revolution. Harvard Bus Rev90.10 (2012): 61-67.Print.