Analyzing primary and secondary data and then making sense of it is difficult; it is not a process you can rush. Try to identify similarities and differences by “wading through” your data.
- Read through all of your primary or secondary data (focus on one or the other, not both at once).
- Identify similarities/themes you see. On a separate piece of paper, write those down with a brief description of what they are.
- Wait at least one day.
- Read through your data again. Does your list of similarities/themes still seem relevant? Update it (keep a copy of the older version). Also note any radical differences or outliers.
- Wait another day.
- Start with your list of themes and their descriptions/definitions. Now read through your data and code/annotate/note where these themes show up.
- Code/annotate any extreme differences or outliers (might they have similarities to one another?).
- If you have the time, share your list of themes and their descriptions/definitions with a friend. Ask that person to try coding some of your data. Did he or she mark the same sections? Did she or he notice different trends?
- Reflect on this process. Describe what you did. Discuss what you learned about the data. What are you excited about? What do you want to know more about?
- Share-out: Copy/paste or upload your reflection below in the comments thread.