The second step in data analysis: Coding qualitative research data
21 November 2018 (online)
Coding is a process used in the analysis of qualitative research, which takes time and creativity. Three steps will help facilitate this process:
1. Reading through the data and creating a storyline;
2. Categorizing the data into codes; and
3. Using memos for clarification and interpretation.
Remembering the research question or storyline, while coding will help keep the qualitative researcher focused on relevant codes. A data dictionary can be used to define the meaning of the codes and keep the process transparent. Coding is done using either predetermined (a priori) or emergent codes, and most often, a combination of the two. By using memos to help clarify how the researcher is constructing the codes and his/her interpretations, the analysis will be easier to write in the end and have more consistency. This paper describes the process of coding and writing memos in the analysis of qualitative data related to diabetes research.
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