Dissertation Data Analysis: How To Use Interviews In Your Research

The methodology is a key part of your dissertation writing. It describes the broad research approaches applied to select specific methods. One of the widely used qualitative methods is the interview which helps you gain information about a target group of people or from the experts in the field to analyze the subject and prove your hypothesis.

How to Collect Interview Data for Your Dissertation Research

The interview method is time-consuming and consists of two main stages, namely collecting raw data and analyzing it. Usually, students use one of the following interview options:

  • Record the entire conversation with respondents, transcribe the text, and identify the key points for further analysis. This method requires an extensive amount of time.
  • Take notes while recording the interview. This saves time as you do not need to transcribe everything word by word later. However, you will have the record if needed.
  • Write down the key points during the conversation. This method may be unreliable because you may miss something important so that you will have to talk to that person again.
  • Prepare a questionnaire and ask people from a target group to answer the questions. Having a well-composed form will help you interpret data and draw conclusions.

How to Analyze the Obtained Data

Undoubtedly, the most complicated part of your work is completing a daily interpretative analysis. Its main objective is to compile and interpret the information collected. It’s a good idea to review and organize your records at the end of every day of interviewing so that it will be a bit easier for you to reconstruct information.

The following advice is designed to help you analyze the obtained data effectively:

  • Start this research stage as soon as you have completed the interviewing and provide essential information about the survey, such as date, time, location, a number of respondents, etc.
  • Pay close attention to the context of doing a survey, reaction of people, and their informal feedback. Look for connections between different processes, ideas, and subjects that were mentioned during the interview.
  • Create figures, schemes, and other visualizations to summarize the data and find something interesting about it. Identify the relationship between what an interviewee said or wrote and events that happened at different levels.
  • Remember that your task is to link specific observations and data to more general ideas and relationships, so always keep the context of your dissertation research in mind.
  • Formulate general conclusions to inform your readers about the main findings in the process of interviewing the target group.