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Qualitative vs Quantitative Research

1-Qualitative data are words, instead of numbers. According to Burns, Gray and Grove (2015) “Qualitative research is a systematic approach used to describe experiences and situations from the perspective of the person in the situation. The researcher analyzes the words of the participant, finds meaning in the words, and provides a description of the experience that promotes deeper understanding of the experience”. Initially you want to state the purpose of the study. In a Qualitative study there are different types of perspectives that can be associated with a qualitative study.  Phenomenological, grounded theory, ethnographic, exploratory-descriptive, qualitative and historical are types of research (Grove, 2015).  To assist with the management of the study, according to White, Oleke, and Friesen (2012) they had eight recommendation as follow

  • Have      one person manages and organize the study.
  • Provide      a through documentation collection and analysis details
  • Strict      timeline for data collection, coding and analysis
  • Use      of iterative process for data collection and analysis
  • Comprehensive      internal audits
  • communications      among all members of the team
  • resources      are to be utilized to meet dead line
  • re-assess      and determine if any changes need to be made.

According to Burns, Gray and Grove (2015) when collecting research, a way to manage the data is by organizing the information into themes and subthemes to form meaning from the data. Data analysis and interpretation allows the researcher to place the findings into the correct category, finding correlation or the non-correlation of the data being obtained.  They must be consistent with the method and the philosophy of the study, allow the data and meaning to be revealed, thus demonstrating the rigor of the study.

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Grove, S., Gray, J., Burns, N., (2015). Understanding Nursing Research, 6th Edition. Retrieved from

White, D., Oleke, N., & Friesen, S. (2012, July). “Qualitative Data Has Been Described As Voluminous And Sometimes Overwhelming To The Researcher In What Ways Could A Researcher Manage And Organize The Data” Essays and Research Papers. Retrieved from

2-Qualitative data can be difficult to process and analyze if not organized properly but the organizing itself is often a difficult task because qualitative data by its very meaning has no numerical data that can be placed in any order or sorted. For this very reason, the data almost always has to be separated and sorted by a human being rather than a computer system that would have to be programed to search for a numerical characteristic that doesn’t exist. In the place of these numerical characteristics, the researcher would need to sort their data into themes based around patterns found in their work. These patterns would differ based on the nature of their research. Once these patterns were decided upon they would be used to create groupings for the data.


Grove, Susan, Jennifer Gray, Nancy Burns.(2015). Understanding Nursing Research, 6th Edition. Saunders, VitalBook file.

3-“Qualitative research is multimethod in focus, involving an interpretive, naturalistic approach to its subject matter. This means that qualitative researchers study things in their natural settings, attempting to make sense of, or interpret, phenomena in terms of the meanings people bring to them” (Mcleod, 2008). What this means is that the point of qualitative research is to understand the reality of the subject matter and participants that are being studied, which is why these test subjects are studied in their natural setting. I agree that qualitative data can be voluminous and overwhelming, so organizing large amounts of data in to smaller groups would be preferable. One way you could start would be to divide up the data into the different environments in which they are being studied. For example, if you are assessing fall risks in the elderly in the healthcare setting, there are three different categories you can divide into in themselves. To further break down the data, you could organize any of these groups into different facilities, such as assisted living facilities, hospital, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, and adult foster homes. The division of data is all dependent on what the focus of your study is and what end goal you are attempting to achieve. If you are seeking safe staffing ratios, you  could begin by dividing fall risk patients by facilities with higher staffing ratios than those with lower ones to compare and contrast. There really is no “exact answer” on how to organize the data. The development of technology is very helpful in the organization of data in recent years. I believe that professor Mcdonald made a comment earlier about a study that she was once involved in that did not use computers for the organization of data. It would definitely speed up the process of sifting through the information you have for the information that can be used. When it comes to organization, in any capacity, I find that lists and spreadsheets help me to focus my mind and not leave out any important information. This method may not work for everyone, but if I don’t write something down, chances are, it will get forgotten in the end.


Mcleod, S. (2008, February 5). Qualitative vs Quantitative Research | Simply Psychology. Retrieved from

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