QRSI Spotlight: ‘Sort and Sift, Think and Shift’: Learning to Let the Data Guide Your Analysis
From the QRSI website:
The Sort and Sift, Think and Shift qualitative data analysis approach, created by Ray Maietta and his consulting team at ResearchTalk Inc, is an iterative process, where analysts dive into data to understand its content, dimensions and properties, and then step back to assess what they have learned in order to bridge findings with current conversations in their field and to assess implications for practice. The method combines tenets and practices from phenomenology, grounded theory, case study and narrative research. The ResearchTalk team has utilized and taught this approach for over a decade to qualitative researchers across disciplines and industries.
- This process of “diving in” and “stepping back” is repeated throughout the analytic process. Researchers move from establishing an understanding of what is in the data to exploring their relationship to the data. To conclude, they arrive at an evidence-based meeting point that is a hybrid story of data content and researcher knowledge.
The Sort and Sift approach is defined by two key analytic shifts qualitative analysts must make over the course of their data work.
- 1. Shift 1 occurs when analysts move their analytic plans from being driven by what they knew and thought before they collected and engaged with data to allowing data content to define analytic decision-making and directions.
- 2.Shift 2 occurs as analysts move from processing individual data documents to giving careful thought and attention to what they will present and how this material will be presented to audiences.
Each phase of the Sort and Sift method features a toolkit to facilitate analytic activities.
- The “Diving In” toolkit features tools to use as you read, review, recognize and record your observations during data review.
- The “Stepping Back” toolkit features tools to use as you reflect, re-strategize and re-orient after your “diving in” phases of analysis.
The iterative back and forth between these phases allows you to bridge emergent findings and concepts to conversations and practices currently engaged by your colleagues.
Instructor: Ray Maietta
Date: Thursday – Friday, July 27-28
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