SWOT Analysis of a Qualitative Research Approach

Posted by HR Analytics on Thursday, December 27, 2012
With the wealth of data becoming available, organizations are turning to traditionally academic approaches in analyzing their data, including qualitative data.  Thanks to modern technology, employee exit interviews, customers' comments, observations, videos, audios, tweets, and blogs are all now almost effortlessly captured and collected.  There are now tons of data waiting to be analyzed and utilized and it doesn't always have to be quantitative data.  It doesn't always have to be a survey where organizations put in a lot of effort in survey development and data collection. It doesn't always have to be a turnover analysis. Blogs in the internet, exit interviews of past employees, or other unstructured data can be 'structured' and analyzed as a way to make stronger assessments in organizations. Analysts should be encouraged to pursue qualitative data and make sense of them in order to add perspective, support quantitative findings, triangulate data, and enrich overall information.  Analysts can further explore the 'narratives' behind the numbers. For example, in an employee satisfaction survey score of 8 out of 10, there might be merit in exploring further what the employees are saying about their job satisfaction which can be found in blogs, wikis, personal observations, comments sections, audio/video recordings, etc.  

To aid those who are considering using a qualitative approach, here is a SWOT analysis tool that I developed while in graduate school.  Contents in the SWOT box are mainly from Research Design by John W. Creswell (2003, 2nd ed).  





Tags: qualitative data  swot analysis 
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