Conducting qualitative research requires a degree of immersion by the researcher into the data collection. This means that the researcher must be sensitive, flexible, and able to make decisions regarding where the data is leading. In comparison with quantitative research that uses statistical analysis, a qualitative report is a pieced-together and tightly woven whole greater than the sum of its parts. This type of research has fewer participants than there are in a quantitative study; however, the data has much more depth. From qualitative research, one can gain deeper insight and more stories than quantitative research can provide.

There are several reasons why one would want to conduct qualitative research. For example, you may be exploring a topic about which little is known, especially from the participants’ perspective. Another reason might be that you are pursuing a topic of sensitivity and emotional depth.

For this Discussion, you describe the focus of qualitative data analysis, explain how understanding this can improve your social work practice, and identify a qualitative study.


· Monette, D. R., Sullivan, T. J., DeJong, C. R., & Hilton, T. P. (2014). Applied social research: A tool for the human services (9th ed.). Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole.

· Chapter 16, “Analysis of Qualitative Data” (pp. 426–452)

Post your responses to the following:

· Describe the focus of qualitative data analysis.

· Explain how understanding qualitative data analysis can improve your social work practice.

· Identify a qualitative study and describe the type of qualitative data analysis the authors used.

Respond to two colleagues who identified an article with a different type of qualitative data analysis and a different way of interpreting the data in one of the following ways:

· Describe how this alternate method could benefit your social work practice.

· Describe how your chosen method could benefit your colleague’s practice.


Describe the focus of qualitative data analysis.

1. Identifying Themes and Patterns: Qualitative analysis aims to identify recurring themes, patterns, or trends within the data. This involves systematically organizing and categorizing the data to uncover underlying similarities or differences.

2. Understanding Context: Qualitative analysis seeks to understand the context in which the data was generated. This includes considering the social, cultural