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Qualitative Data Analysis from Start to Finish

Qualitative Data Analysis from Start to Finish

March 2013 | 240 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Are you new to qualitative research? Are you planning to do interviews or focus groups and wondering what on earth you'll do with the data once it's collected? Do you have a pile of transcripts staring at you right now and are you lost as to how to identify themes, code your data and work out what it all means?


Fear not, help is here! In this brilliant new book, Jamie Harding breaks down the process of analysing qualitative data into simple, retraceable steps. After providing some top tips for designing your research and collecting your data, he takes you through the different stages of analysis, from the first reading of your transcripts, to presenting your findings in a report or dissertation. For each stage of the process there are demonstrations using real data and exercises for you to perform yourself. He unpicks what happens behind the scenes in qualitative data analysis - the bit that's hard to learn without seeing it happen and trying it for yourself. While acknowledging that there are many different forms that qualitative data analysis can take, the book provides a series of ideas and examples that you will find invaluable when analysing your own data.


This book is perfect for all social science students who are struggling with data analysis and are looking for someone to guide the way.

Structure of the Book

The Interviews and the Focus Group

Introduction to Data Analysis



Beginning the Study

Qualitative and Quantitative Research

Mixed Methods

Critical Research

Induction and Deduction

Research Designs


Negotiating Access

Maximising Response

Forms of Collection Data

Ethical Issues


Further Reading

Collecting and Managing Interview and Focus Group Data

Distinctive Features of Qualitative Interviews

Types of Qualitative Interview

Modes of Data Collection

Qualities of the Qualitative Interviewer

Planning the Interview and the Interview Guide

Unplanned Probes

Planning a Focus Group

Moderating a Focus Group

Piloting for Interviews and Focus Groups

Recording and Transcription of INterview and Focus Group Data


Further Reading

First Stages of Analyzing Interview Data - Making Summaries and Making Comparisons

Summarising Interviews

Summarising Interviews: Examples

Summarising Interviews: Exercise

The Constant Comparative Method

Reaching Findings Using the Constant Comparative Method


Further Reading

Using Codes to Analyse an Illustrative Issue
Step 1: Identifying Initial Categories Based on Reading the Transcripts

Step 2: Writing Codes Alongside the Transcripts

Step 3: Reviewing the List of Codes, Revising the List of Categories and Deciding Which Codes Should Appear in Which Category

Complete List of Codes Used in Relation to Reflective Practice

Step 4: Looking for Themes and Findings in Each Category


Further Reading

Identifying Conceptual Themes and Building Theory
Characteristics of Conceptual Themes

Two Helpful Tools for Identifying Conceptual Themes

Analysing a Conceptual Theme Step by Step


Further Reading

Alternative Approaches to Analyzing Qualitative Data

Deductive Coding and Analysis

Narrative Analysis

Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis (CAQDAS)


Further Reading

Analyzing Focus Group Data

Individual Data Analysis

Group Data Analysis

Avoiding Reaching Findings that Lack Validity

Group Interaction Data Analysis

Combining Analysis of the 'How' and the 'What'


Further Reading

Writing about Research (1) - Methodology and Findings

Checking Validity


The Methodology Section

Writing About Qualitative Findings


Further Reading

Writing about Research (2)- Making Links to the Literature

The Literature Review

The Role of the Conclusion

An Example - Writing the Literature Search and Conclusion in Relation to Student Employment


Further Reading


This is a comprehensive and authoritative account of the drivers for and the processes involved in qualitative analysis. Jamie Harding has managed to provide an instructive account of methods of data collection and analysis that is consistently rich in example and illustration. A valuable compass for those learning about and engaging in qualitative research.
Gabe Mythen
Reader in Sociology, University of Liverpool, UK

This book is an ideal companion that provides key principles, methods and practical tips throughout the qualitative research process. Its personal tone, well chosen examples and exercises will make it an easy-to-use-guide and reference for students as well as a good source for lecturers.
Simon Güntner
Professor of Social Sciences/Social Policy, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany

Qualitative Data Analysis from Start to Finish is destined to become the standard reference for qualitative research. Jamie Harding's book is thorough, sophisticated, and clear. The book excels in explaining various methods and in framing them from a broader theoretical perspective. It will be indispensable for students and practitioners alike.
Alex Schwartz
Associate Professor of Urban Policy, The New School, US

Jamie Harding's excellent guide to the generation and analysis of qualitative data provides the clear, comprehensive and accessible text that will be invaluable to doctoral candidates and early career researchers embarking on qualitative social research. They have been asking me for just such a text for decades! .
Robin Humphrey
Reader, and Director of Postgraduate Research Training, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Newcastle University

This book is a helpful resource, specially for novice qualitative researchers embarking on data analysis for the first time. It addresses the foundational principles and understandings of various research paradigms, designs, methods of data collection and analysis. It is easy to navigate and runs in a logical formation. The reader is able to get a good understanding of the theory as well as practical application of various qualitative data analysis processes.

Ms Cindy Melanie Swartbooi
Psychology, Cornerstone Institute
September 8, 2016

I have recommended this to the Dissertation Module Coordinator to include this as essential reading. I read this book from cover to cover, made lots of notes and highlighted many areas and continue to use it.

Mrs Julie donald
WBDL, Universityof Lincoln
November 30, 2015

The text provides a useful overview and effectively captures the qualitative data analysis process in all its stages, using accessible language.

Ms Jo Shah
Academic , Central School of Speech and Drama
October 18, 2015

The book provides a grounded easy to understand approach to research. The language makes the book a super guide to research which is meaningful and straightforward.

Mrs Alison Dawn Milner
HSCFL, South Devon College
September 1, 2015

A very useful guide that takes the reader on an engaging journey through the theory and practice of qualitative data collection and analysis – well-chosen examples and helpful tips make it a suitable choice for both undergraduate and post-graduate students embarking on a dissertation.

Dr Stacey Bushfield
School of Accounting & Finance, Dundee University
June 24, 2015

This is an excellent and succinct book to guide students new to qualitative methods in their research

Dr Lyvonne Tume
School of Nursing and Caring Sciences, University of Central Lancashire
May 15, 2015

This book is clearly and succinctly written, which makes the book easy to follow and read. I would suggest this book to students who need help with analysing qualitative data, as this book is solely designed to provide assistance and guidance at analysing qualitative data.

Mr Aliraza Javaid
School of Social, Psychological & Comm, Leeds Beckett University
March 4, 2015

I found the textbook Qualitative Data Analysis from Start to Finish use in my teaching. Also I did recommend it for my students.

Mr Femi Oyemomi
Graduate School of Management, University of Plymouth
January 19, 2015

A useful practical resource for qualitative data analysis

Dr Godwin Tetteh
Business, London South Bank University
December 10, 2014

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ISBN: 9780857021380