When making a plan for data processing and analysis always consider the following issues:
• time needed to expand notes and/or transcribe tapes of qualitative interviews
• the ways in which the collected qualitative and quantitative data will be sorted and ordered
• when and how you will perform quality control checks
• the ways in which you will process data; including descriptions of tables and data master sheets to summarize data, and whether all parts of the data should be processed by hand or computer
• how you will analyse data, including the preparation of dummy tables for analysis of quantitative data, the comparison of groups (if applicable), or the establishment of relationships between variables, guided by the objectives of the study
• an estimate of the total time needed for analysis and how long particular parts of the analysis will take
• whether additional staff are required for data-entry and the analysis
• an estimate of the total cost of the analysis.
A good plan for data processing and analysis will ensure that the data you collect do not end up unused in a drawer; and that you do not collect data which you do not need.
Additional reading and cited references
Abramson JH, Abramson ZH (1999). Survey methods in community medicine, 5th ed. Edinburgh, Churchill Livingstone.
Debus M (1986). Methodological review: a handbook for excellence in focus group re search. Washington, DC, Academy for Educational Development, HEALTHCOM. (To re quest a free copy write to: BASICS, Information Center, l600 Wilson Blvd., Suite 300, Arlington, VA 22209, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org).
Hardon A (1991). Confronting ill health: medicines, self-care and the poor in Manila. Quezon-City, Health Action Information Network.
Hardon A et al (2001). Analysis of qualitative data. In: Applied health research manual: Anthropology of health care. Amsterdam, Het Spinhuis.
Hudelson PM (1994). Qualitative research for health programmes. Geneva, World Health Organization.WHO/MNH/PSF/94.3.Rev.l.
Varkevisser, CM, Pathmanathan I, Brownlee A. (1992). Designing and implementing health systems research projects. Volume 2. Geneva, Health Sciences Division of the International Development Research Centre and the World Health Organization.
Scrimshaw SCM, Hurtado E (1987). Rapid assessment procedures for nutrition and primary health care. Tokyo, United Nations University/Los Angeles, University of California.