By Karla De Lima Guedes, CDT Doctoral Student
This year, thanks to the Web Science CDT training fund, I had the opportunity to attend two online National Centre for Research Methods (NCRM) training courses: (1) How to Conduct Thematic Data Analysis on 26/01/22 and (2) Principles and Practices of Quantitative Data Analysis with Sarah Bulloch on 02-03/03/22. The former was taught by Karen Lumsden, a qualitative researcher in sociology & criminology and the latter by Dr Sarah Bulloch from the Computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS) Networking Project and University of Surrey.
The ‘How to Conduct Thematic Data Analysis’ was a one day live online Zoom course that went through the with skills on how to manually conduct thematic analysis. Karen provided a brief overview of different analytical approaches but focused on the principles and practices of thematic analysis (TA). We looked at qualitative data analysis (QDA) and how it differs from quantitative analysis, how to organise qualitative data, i.e. conceptualising, coding and categorising the data, the main types, principles and examples of TA, and practised using TA in a dataset. There were about 15 course participants from academic and non-academic backgrounds such as marketing, education, nursing, and mental health.
The ‘Principles and Practices of Quantitative Data Analysis’ was a two-afternoon online Zoom course that focused on the basic principles and activities involved in doing quantitative data analysis. This course was designed for postgraduate students and early career researchers planning to work with quantitative data in any discipline, which was a perfect quantitative introduction course and reflection opportunity for me as a newbie to quantitative data analysis. We looked at key aspects to consider before embarking upon a quantitative data analysis, were introduced to transforming variables, univariate and bivariate analysis, descriptive and inferential statistics, and did some hands-on exercises. This was a small course with 10 participants from around the UK but from different academic backgrounds and private sectors.
Attending these two courses was a fantastic training opportunity for me as my research involves the collection and analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data. They gave me an opportunity to learn about both types of data, talk to people using similar analysis, engage with other researchers, reflect on data collection and analysis methods, and ask questions that were relevant to my Ph.D. research.