Project Consulting

in CAQDAS Packages

Project Consulting in CAQDAS Packages

Our involvement in team and funded research projects varies greatly from project to project. For some projects we serve only as outside consultants. This typically involves participating in the initial design of the data analysis and the consequent set up of the project in the chosen software, initial training of team members in the needed software skills, and then continuing on an as needed basis to provide guidance and advice at turning points of the data analysis, and provide additional software training and coaching on an as-needed basis.

For other projects we are more involved as a team member, participating in or leading the data analysis, and training and coaching the researchers in whatever features of the program they need to use. With some projects we undertake the entire data analysis ourselves, and participate in the writing of the resulting papers. We have been involved in a range of projects, from evaluations to grounded theory studies, including studies in  family medicine, public health, education, and leadership and management studies.

Using CAQDAS packages for collaborative data analysis

Using CAQDAS packages for collaborative data analysis is rewarding if the procedures are well-designed, but problematic if approached in the same manner as lone research. We are experienced in consulting to collaborative analysis projects, having served as project managers or principal data analysts in many regional, national, and international qualitative and evaluation studies in diverse areas of the human sciences. Details and references are available on request.

Testimonials

So often I have attended training courses and wondered what I was doing there, feeling my life slip away into oblivion while I could be doing other more useful and interesting activities such as watching iron rust or paint flake. However, Christina's was superb. It was exactly what I had hoped for. Pitched at precisely the right level and presented in a very clear, engaging way. Being able to spend time having some real content and context given by someone who really understands the software and researcher's needs, along with a sensible amount of time to try things out and get help was great. I'm much more confident about getting to grips with my data now.
Paul Rause
Interdisciplinary researcher, Southampton University

Blog

Can tactics inform strategies?

Can tactics inform strategies?
By Christina Silver on May 25, 2018 at 08:41 AM in Five-Level QDA in practice

Analytic strategies come before software tactics: that’s the Five-Level QDA approach. But there are times when software tactics can usefully inform analytic strategies. This leads to serendipitous exploration, and fits well with the emergent spirit of qualitative research.

When analytic strategies drive software tactics the use of the software is meaningful – focused on the needs of the research rather than the capabilities of the program. But many CAQDAS advocates say that new software features (tactics) do offer new analytic possibilities (strategies), and so the relationship goes both ways. I agree.

While I usually discuss the downsides of software tactics driving analytic strategies, here is an example from the workshop I led at the MQIC in Berlin earlier this year of tactics appropriately informing strategies.

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A CAQDAS horror story: when tactics drive strategies

A CAQDAS horror story: when tactics drive strategies
By Christina Silver on Mar 22, 2018 at 06:52 PM

A key principle of the 5LQDA method is that analytic strategies drive software tactics. This ensures that software use is always focused on the objectives of the study and is appropriate to the particular methodological context.

But what happens when software tactics drive analytic strategies? Here is the most extreme example I’ve observed. In my next post I’ll discuss when software tactics can usefully inform analytic strategies without actually driving the process.

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How many codes are needed in a qualitative analysis?

How many codes are needed in a qualitative analysis?
By Christina Silver on Feb 22, 2018 at 08:53 AM in CAQDAS commentary

There is no answer to this perennial question not even any guidelines. You need as many codes as you need in other words, however many are needed to capture whats going on in the data in relation to your analytic focus and research objectives. How many depends on what youre using the codes to represent, how you derive them, and how you intend to use them in the analysis. Ive done substantial projects with as few as 22 codes, and others that required several hundred.

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My first thoughts on the Five-Level QDA textbooks

My first thoughts on the Five-Level QDA textbooks
By Five Level QDA on Feb 06, 2018 at 07:29 AM in Five-Level QDA issues & ideas

Ann Lewins has been using and teaching CAQDAS packages since 1994 and she pioneered the development of institutional support for their use in the UK, helping to create the CAQDAS Networking Project. Here she shares her first thoughts on the Five-Level QDA textbooks.

Five-Level QDA is a new teaching and learning initiative that aims to fill a huge gap by addressing some of the major dilemmas facing especially new qualitative researchers

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Methods matter - illustrating quality in qualitative analysis and the role of CAQDAS

Methods matter - illustrating quality in qualitative analysis and the role of CAQDAS
By Christina Silver on Jan 06, 2018 at 11:28 AM in CAQDAS commentary

Professor Debra Jacksons post about the Journal of Child & Family Studies intention to from now on only review and publish quantitative papers and the discussion it prompted on Twitter indicates how important it is for qualitative researchers to fully describe their methods and illustrate the quality of their analysis. Using dedicated CAQDAS packages to facilitate analysis wont necessarily result in higher quality outputs, but they can be used to illustrate process and rigour, and thereby have an important role to play.

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