Working with large amounts of qualitative data: the breadth-and-depth method

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Department for Continuing Education
Rewley House
1 Wellington Square
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Lecture Theatre

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Lectures and seminars
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Disabled access?
Booking required

When we think about big data, we often think in terms of quantitative data sets that can be analysed computationally to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behaviour and interactions. The growing availability of large qualitative data sets, through archiving and other forms of data sharing, presents new and exciting opportunities internationally for qualitative research.

During this lecture Dr Susie Weller will introduce the breadth-and-depth method; a four-step process fusing computational techniques for exploring breadth with more conventional forms of qualitative analysis to provide depth. Working with large amounts of qualitative data enables researchers to scope out new research questions that allow for comparison and claims to generalisability while still 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.

This free guest lecture is part of the Advanced Qualitative Research Methods module, from the Evidence-Based Health Care (EBHC) programme.