Data Crunch

I know, I know, I haven’t been as prompt with my blog postings this week. Here’s the deal – a paper of mine, based on my dissertation work, was accepted for presentation at the Qualitative Report Conference next year. The acceptance got me excited and when I get excited, I become a little OCD. So I had the marvelous idea (I should have had that marvelous idea last year) to start compiling my raw data in neat little folders on my desktop in order to start analysis in a few weeks.  Turns out that I have over 1,000 pages of transcribed conversations. And of all things, I didn’t think I had enough data!!!!!! Any ideas on how to organize this mess?


Author: Kathleen Cool
I am a graduate student studying how people experience informal education, particularly art, in virtual worlds such as Second Life. My background is in both Art History and Computer Science. Please feel free to email me or IM me in SL (Kathleen Koolhoven) if you have any questions regarding my current research or want to participate in my study.

6 thoughts on “Data Crunch

  1. Is it number stuff, quantitative? Or anecdotal, qualitative material?

    I’ve taken some surveys that are so “boring” that it’s really hard to cipher how the author will tease any truly meaningful results out of them… still… it sure is nice to do numerical analysis on, you know, numbers.

    Mountains of anecdotal data can be really rich, but perhaps a mountainous project.

    hahaha – I’m giving advice like you don’t already know 10x (if not 1,000x) more about it than me! 😛

    Anyway, if it is transcribed conversations… I imagine you can, or already are “coding” them for various issues, ideas, and factors… actually, that’s pretty nice… then you CAN do various statistical analyses and make pretty charts & graphs, AND also be able to go back and pull out the anecdotal quotations that can make all the sexy-yet-detached charts and graphs actually resonate for we corporeal persons.

    1. 1,000 pages of transcribed conversations makes me want to cry. I think i’d have to turn on text to speech, plug in my headset, then take a long, long nap. In fact, I haven’t had my nap today and just thinking about that much information is making me sleepy.

      Seriously though, it takes a big mind to be able to sort through that type of information. In reading your works, i’m certain you have the mental horsepower.

    2. Yes, it’s all anecdotal, qualitative material (thank goodness). I like Yordie’s idea, but I don’t think I could bear having to listen to a computer voice for that long… and having it transcribed by a human would be close to impossible (any volunteers?!). Anyways, my main issue now isn’t so much analyzing it, but rather organizing it. I have an email out to my chair asking for help… that is his job after all .

      1. Are you able to share any of it here? I know you promised “anonymity,” so you wouldn’t be associating *names* with interviews… but are you able to post unattributed excerpts?

        Whatever the “data” is, again, I have to think that CODING it would be huge… so that you can do some aggregate analysis…

    1. I have no experience with NVivo, but their website looks promising!

      NVivo might well do this for you or with you… but I think reading through the materials and making lists of Terms and Concepts that interviewees mention…

      Then going back and coding them for Mentions of this… Experiences of that…

      So you can say that out of XXX peeps surveyed 34% had 3 or more experiences of BLA BLA in the past year, as represented by this quotation from resident Anony Mouse:

      Oh yes, all true, also, the palpable reality of my personal story makes the impressive, yet detached, statistics “real” for you, don’t you think?

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