Getting Beneath the Surface – Qualitative Techniques

The aim of this guide is to explore the wide range of tools and techniques available for undertaking robust and convincing qualitative work. Part 1 of the guide focuses on the value of qualitative work and how best to use this guide. Part 2 of the guide focuses on the main forms of qualitative data capture ranging from more traditional methods such as conversational interviews and text searches to more innovative practices such as Cognitive Mapping and photographic evidence. Part 3 of this guide concentrates on the available strategies for analysing qualitative data, giving particular emphasis to methods for coding qualitative data, using data matrices and representing qualitative data. This Part is practically based and should enable readers quickly to apply the techniques covered. Part 4 of this guide focuses on two important issues that are faced when dealing with qualitative data; how to use qualitative work to make a real difference and how to ensure that the results are robust, valid and reliable. This Part introduces specific and practical measures for addressing these themes.