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Data Analysis: Techniques & Methods

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  • 0:02 A Beginning Look at…
  • 1:08 Methods of Data Anaylsis
  • 1:44 Qualitative Techniques
  • 2:46 Quantitative Techniques
  • 3:36 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Brianna Whiting
In this lesson, we'll learn about data analysis. We'll define the two methods of data analysis, quantitative and qualitative, and look at each of their various techniques. The lesson will then conclude with a summary and a quiz.

A Beginning Look at Data Analysis

Let's imagine that you have just enrolled in your first college course. After two days of class, your professor assigns you a research assignment. You are to research which type of school system is better, private or public. Immediately, you have an opinion of which system you feel is better, but you realize that conducting research is not about your own personal opinion. Research is about gathering data that you can analyze and use to come to some sort of conclusion. So, before you begin your data collection, you realize that you have a lot to learn about the various methods and techniques of gathering data.

Before we look at the methods and techniques of data analysis, lets first define what data analysis is. Data analysis is the collecting and organizing of data so that a researcher can come to a conclusion. Data analysis allows one to answer questions, solve problems, and derive important information. So, for your assignment, you now know that the purpose of your assignment is to gather enough information to come to a conclusion about which school system is better.

Methods of Data Analysis

Okay, you have decided to prove that public school is better than private school, but now you need to figure out how you will collect the information and data needed to support that idea. There are two methods that a researcher can pursue: qualitative and quantitative.

Qualitative research revolves around describing characteristics. It does not use numbers. A good way to remember qualitative research is to think of quality.

Quantitative research is the opposite of qualitative research because its prime focus is numbers. Quantitative research is all about quantity.

Qualitative Data Analysis Techniques

Qualitative research works with descriptions and characteristics. Let's look at some of the more common qualitative research techniques:

Participant observation is when the researcher becomes part of the group that they are observing. This technique can take a long period of time because the researcher needs to be accepted into the group so that they observe data that is natural.

Direct observation is where the researcher is strictly observing and not taking part in any of the activities. An example of this might be observing a classroom in both a private and public school so that you can see the differences in teaching styles.

With interviews, the researcher is able to talk with participants and ask them questions and gather their opinions. So for your research, you might ask the students why they like their school.

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