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Big data, qualitative style: a breadth-and-depth method for working with large amounts of secondary qualitative data

Big data, qualitative style: a breadth-and-depth method for working with large amounts of secondary qualitative data
Big data, qualitative style: a breadth-and-depth method for working with large amounts of secondary qualitative data
Archival storage of data sets from qualitative studies presents opportunities for combining small-scale data sets for reuse/secondary analysis. In this paper, we outline our approach to combining multiple qualitative data sets and explain why working with a corpus of 'big qual' data is a worthwhile endeavour. We present a new approach that iteratively combines recursive surface thematic mapping and in-depth interpretive work. Our breadth-and-depth method involves a series of steps: 1) surveying archived data sets to create a new assemblage of data; 2) recursive surface thematic mapping in dialogue with 3) preliminary ‘test pit’ analysis, remapping and repetition of preliminary analysis; and 4) in-depth analysis of the type that is familiar to most qualitative researchers. In so doing, we show how qualitative researchers can conduct ‘big qual’ analysis while retaining the distinctive order of knowledge about social processes that is the hallmark of rigorous qualitative research, with its integrity of attention to nuanced context and detail.
archived data; big data; big qual; breadth-and-depth method; qualitative analysis; secondary analysis
0033-5177
363-376
Edwards, Rosalind
e43912c0-f149-4457-81a9-9c4e00a4bb42
Davidson, Emma
4f0d1aa4-686b-40c8-9977-8212deb84ff5
Jamieson, Lynn
0d0af4c3-c847-4134-976c-c58831bcc11f
Weller, Susan
6ad1e079-1a7c-41bf-8678-bff11c55142b
Edwards, Rosalind
e43912c0-f149-4457-81a9-9c4e00a4bb42
Davidson, Emma
4f0d1aa4-686b-40c8-9977-8212deb84ff5
Jamieson, Lynn
0d0af4c3-c847-4134-976c-c58831bcc11f
Weller, Susan
6ad1e079-1a7c-41bf-8678-bff11c55142b

Edwards, Rosalind, Davidson, Emma, Jamieson, Lynn and Weller, Susan (2019) Big data, qualitative style: a breadth-and-depth method for working with large amounts of secondary qualitative data. Quality and Quantity, 53 (1), 363-376. (doi:10.1007/s11135-018-0757-y).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Archival storage of data sets from qualitative studies presents opportunities for combining small-scale data sets for reuse/secondary analysis. In this paper, we outline our approach to combining multiple qualitative data sets and explain why working with a corpus of 'big qual' data is a worthwhile endeavour. We present a new approach that iteratively combines recursive surface thematic mapping and in-depth interpretive work. Our breadth-and-depth method involves a series of steps: 1) surveying archived data sets to create a new assemblage of data; 2) recursive surface thematic mapping in dialogue with 3) preliminary ‘test pit’ analysis, remapping and repetition of preliminary analysis; and 4) in-depth analysis of the type that is familiar to most qualitative researchers. In so doing, we show how qualitative researchers can conduct ‘big qual’ analysis while retaining the distinctive order of knowledge about social processes that is the hallmark of rigorous qualitative research, with its integrity of attention to nuanced context and detail.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 26 April 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 26 April 2018
Published date: 18 January 2019
Keywords: archived data; big data; big qual; breadth-and-depth method; qualitative analysis; secondary analysis

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 420142
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/420142
ISSN: 0033-5177
PURE UUID: a9836833-a6cb-46c7-b942-37d0f06d7a1e
ORCID for Rosalind Edwards: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3512-9029
ORCID for Susan Weller: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6839-876X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 27 Apr 2018 16:30
Last modified: 22 May 2019 00:32

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