Edinburgh Research Explorer

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Related Edinburgh Organisations

Open Access permissions

Open

Documents

  • Download as Adobe PDF

    Rights statement: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

    Final published version, 489 KB, PDF document

    Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution (CC-BY)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)363–376
Number of pages14
JournalQuality and Quantity
Volume53
Issue number1
Early online date26 Apr 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

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 cor-pus of ‘big qual’ data is a worthwhile endeavour. We present a new approach that itera-tively 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 dis-tinctive order of knowledge about social processes that is the hallmark of rigorous qualita-tive research, with its integrity of attention to nuanced context and detail.

    Research areas

  • archived data, big data, big qual, breadth-and-depth method, qualitative analysis, secondary analysis

Download statistics

No data available

ID: 31091825