Qualitative data analysis: conceptual and practical considerations

Health Promot J Austr. 2009 Aug;20(2):133-9. doi: 10.1071/he09133.


Qualitative inquiry requires that collected data is organised in a meaningful way, and this is referred to as data analysis. Through analytic processes, researchers turn what can be voluminous data into understandable and insightful analysis. This paper sets out the different approaches that qualitative researchers can use to make sense of their data including thematic analysis, narrative analysis, discourse analysis and semiotic analysis and discusses the ways that qualitative researchers can analyse their data. I first discuss salient issues in performing qualitative data analysis, and then proceed to provide some suggestions on different methods of data analysis in qualitative research. Finally, I provide some discussion on the use of computer-assisted data analysis.

MeSH terms

  • Evaluation Studies as Topic*
  • Humans
  • Statistics as Topic