Free Data Analysis Methods & Interview Essay Sample
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Application 1: Evaluating a Doctoral Study— Data Analysis Methods
The data analysis methods used were very appropriate for the research design chosen for the doctoral study. The research design used in the doctoral study was a case study, a qualitative approach. As such, the data analysis methods used were appropriate because firstly, they are commonly used for qualitative data, and secondly, the data analysis methods help the researcher to identify the themes that are highlighted in the transcriptions from the interview (Birks, Chapman & Francis, 2007). All the aspects of the methods of data analysis were sufficiently described and justified. The researcher was keen to describe in fine details the data analysis approach. This included details on how the data was going to be grouped and coded (Brent & Slusarz, 2003) and how the themes would be identified from the transcripts (Ryan & Bernard, 2003).
Additionally, the researcher was also keen to justify the choice in the data analysis approach by citing various scholars in qualitative studies. While the data analysis methods chosen in the doctoral study were appropriate and effective for analyzing the collected information with the aim of answering the central research question, the same outcome could have been achieved using other methods of data analysis (Bernard, 2010). Firstly, there was a heavy reliance on preset categories as the criteria for theme identification. Better outcomes would have been achieved by supplementing the preset categories with emergent categories. This is because it adds recurring themes that may not be present in the list of preset categories (Merriam & Associates, 2002). Additionally, the results from the data analysis can be tempered by observer impression. This offers a platform upon which trends from the analysis of data are compared for consistency. This would have increased the effectiveness of the data analysis exercise.
Bernard, H. R. (2010). Analyzing qualitative data: Systematic approaches, Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications.
Birks, M. J., Chapman, Y., & Francis, K. (2007). Breaching the wall: Interviewing people from other cultures. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 18(2), 150–156
Brent, E., & Slusarz, P. (2003). "Feeling the Beat": Intelligent coding advice from metaknowledge in qualitative research. Social Science Computer Review, 21(3), 281– 303.
Merriam, S. B., & Associates. (2002). Qualitative research in practice: Examples for discussion and analysis. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Ryan, G. W., & Bernard, H. R. (2003). Techniques to identify themes. Field Methods, 15(1),85– 109.
Application 2: Small-Scale Qualitative Research Project—Conduct the Interview
Interviewer: Insert your name
Interviewee: Latoya Inverary
Interview setting: Interview conducted in the office in her business premises at 3.45 on a Friday afternoon.
(Start of interview)
Interviewer: In your understanding, what is the aim of this interview?
Interviewee: To determine what strategies are required by small businesses to succeed.
Interviewer: What type of business entity do you operate?
Interviewee: I operate a day care called Starling with Doreen Pratt as a partnership.
Interviewer: Depending on whether the business is a sole proprietorship or a partnership, what influenced your decision on the business entity?
Interviewee: We decided to start a partnership because individually we lacked the right combination of important elements, money and expertise.
Interviewer: What is your responsibility in the business?
Interviewer: I am one of the two directors of the business.
Interviewer: Given that many small businesses fail before the end of the first year, what measures did you take to ensure that your business is not another statistic?
Interviewer: By partnering with Doreen Pratt, I ensured that as a partnership, we had the capital and expertise to run the business.
Interviewer: What are some of the challenges that you faced when starting up your business?
Interviewee: Initially, we had challenges attracting customers to the business. Additionally, we had problems with certification during the initial states.
Interviewer: What influence did the availability of capital have on your ability to startup the business and the subsequent operations?
Interviewee: Seeing that I had the required capital from my savings, it was relatively easy to start and stay afloat.
Interviewer: Given that you are members of minority communities, how would you rate the influence of social perceptions in you start up process?
Interviewee: As I noted earlier, it was initially difficult to attract customers to the business. I believe it had to do with the social perceptions.
Interviewer: What do you think is the most common cause of failure for small businesses in the first year of operation?
Interviewee: I believe it is lack of information on how to run a business. Having the capital to start is not just enough.
Interviewer: To what extent do you think racial discrimination, especially for minority businesses is a factor in the failure or success of their small businesses?
Interviewee: It is a factor yes. The social perceptions associated with minorities may make customers shun the business. However, I would rate it below lack of information.
Interviewer: What is the biggest obstacle for small business owners?
Interviewee: I would say that the biggest obstacle is access to the capital.
Interviewer: What are your experiences with your startup business?
Interviewee: Start up businesses are challenging. The resolve of the business owner, especially in times of aridity and adversity are tested severely. It is even more challenging when there are institutional challenges such as delayed certification and lack of capital.
Interviewer: What source of capital did you use when starting up your business?
Interviewee: I started with my savings.
Interviewer: How would you rate the ease of getting the startup capital, especially for the small business owners from minority communities?
Interviewee: I would imagine it is hard given that many of the small business owners may not have the collateral required for loans, and the fact that getting credit is expensive.
Interviewer: How does this affect the success of the business in the long run?
Interviewee: Where such capital is required for operations or expansion, small businesses may close shop or fail to expand respectively.
Interviewer: In retrospect, what would you wish was different when you were starting up and how would this have affected the outcome of your startup differently?
Interviewee: I wish I had the expertise when I was starting up. I might have chosen another business entity where I have total control.
Interviewer: With regards to eliminating the obstacles to startups, what might you suggest to potential entrepreneurs?
Interviewee: If you cannot start on your own, team up with other like minded people so that you are risk averse.
Conclusion: The element of qualitative research is the human factor. As such understanding various human approaches requires human expression. Performing interviews with key respondents helps gain insights into the approaches of the respondents. Performing interviews allows the researcher to venture deeper into the mindset of the respondents. In this way, the researcher can understand why various phenomena exist like they do. This qualitative study is a part of the qualitative doctoral study. These parts contribute to the body of knowledge required when performing doctoral studies using the qualitative research design.
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