1.The first thing the researcher needs to do before organizing his/her qualitative data is to determine which sources of information will be used in their literature review. One reliable source of information is the use of peer-reviewed literature and careful selection of the literature should be done by first reading the abstracts to ensure that the study addresses the problem being researched.
A high-quality review of literature available for the chosen research topic is essential and can be achieved by managing and organizing the data using a summary table in which qualitative studies can be organized by (1) author and year; (2) purpose of the study; (3) qualitative approach used; (4) sample details; (5) data collection methods; and (6) key findings (Grove, Gray, & Burns, 2015). Grove, Gray, & Burns also state that the sources selected for a literature review can be gathered based on which section of the paper they will be placed in: Introduction; theoretical literature; empirical literature; main points of the literature findings; or conclusion (2015). Sage Publishing highlights six steps to organize and analyze qualitative data: Identify the researcher’s own biases and neutralize them; classify the data into themes or categories; identify repetitive ideas or pieces of information; create themes; create theories and check their validity; and draw conclusions (2018
The information that is gathered during research must be able to be organized, collected, managed, stored, retrieved, analyzed, and given meaning to (Dunlap, Johnson, Benoit 2010). One of most crucial decisions that needs to be made when taking on a project, is choosing the right software that is going to store and sift through the voluminous amounts of data and words. This software will be the “storehouse” for your research (Dunlap, Johnson, Benoit 2010). The next fundamental question is to identify what this qualitative research is going to accomplish, or question is going to be answered. Once this is determined, then the research and volume of information can be organized into 4 types of data: Field notes, Baseline qualitative protocol, Follow-up qualitative protocol, and Focus group protocols (Dunlap, Johnson, Benoit 2010). It is also important that someone is appointed to oversee the work and ensure everything is being collected and stored properly. The work can be assigned to different researchers, so that it is not so overwhelming for one researcher.
The information and data that has been collected needs to be coded and identified so that it can be organized. Codes lead to categories and categories lead to themes, which are then further developed (Seers, 2012).