Where best to put data and your analysis of it?

Your raw data should be available for the reader to examine.

The analysis must be logically consistent. In the notes on qualitative data analysis (from the April lecture on Research Methods at WMG) Ian Pearson explains that the preliminary analysis “essentially requires the researcher to achieve three key tasks: reduce the data, structure it and, what Hussey & Hussey (1997) refer to as detextualising the data“. He then gives examples of what might be done with the output from preliminary analysis including (a) methods for converting qualitative data into quantitative data and (b) qualitative methods of data analysis. The research design chapter should explain your approach to data collection and analysis while the results and analysis chapter(s) should present the actual data and its analysis.

There should be traceability back from the findings into the raw data.

Within these constraints, you should make your line of reasoning as clear and as easy to read as possible. That requires you to make a judgement about what should be presented ‘up front’ in the line of reasoning contained in the main body of the paper and what should be ‘supporting arguments’ or ‘supporting evidence’ to that main line and put into one or more appendices.

Pearson. I, “Qualitative Data Analysis”, 2012, http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/sci/wmg/ftmsc/modules/modulelist/reme/remeapril/03a_qualitative_data_analysis_notes_-_2007.pdf, accessed 18 Aug 2012