Organizing data will always be a big hurdle when it comes to successfully finishing a qualitative research project. This is due to the fact that conducting this type of research requires sifting through data gathered from hours and hours of interviews which can be exhausting, time consuming, and confusing.
It can be a challenge, but there are ways to properly deal with managing deliverables such as images, audio and video recordings, transcriptions, and other necessary documentation, especially considering how important it is in qual research to ensure no key points are missed or left out. Through efficient audio and video content management, data analysis and interpretation is made easier so it is best to think ahead and strategize, even before you start accumulating your data.
One way of doing this is by assigning a multimedia manager that would help secure the database and make sure that everything is in order. Without a reliable data manager, filing and organizing deliverables will be difficult and may take too much time that is better spent on analysis and reporting. Another solution would be to utilize an qualitative multimedia content management solution with robust tools for analysis and enables collaboration across people involved.
Aside from these, researchers can also implement various practices to improve the organization of all data for a successful and efficient multimedia management. Here are some of them:
- Categorize and tag every file accordingly. Finding a necessary file or document might be harder than it looks especially if there’s a multitude of data. To avoid this, exercise proper categorizing or tagging so other collaborators can easily find it. Grouping it by project is a no-brainer, but it would also be helpful to tag per respondent segment, product being reviewed, or even according to insight given.
- Keep a backup of all data. Losing accumulated data due to a virus or a technical problem is one of the worst things that can happen to researchers’ data. Believe it or not, this happens quite often. A way to avoid losing everything you’ve worked hard for is by ensuring that everything is backed up on a regular basis. Don’t rely on just one storage especially when it comes to important data - aside from the local copy you have on your computer, upload files to a secure online content management solution where you can also easily download files you need when you need them.
- Routinely check data quality and remove problematic materials. Although having a massive amount of data is useful when doing a study, it is just as necessary to maintain the integrity of your study. With so much data, there’s a risk of missing out on a crucial detail. Upon receiving data, make sure to check if it’s actually useful and necessary or if it is irrelevant to the study as a whole.
- Maintain a directory of all data. Keeping a data directory is useful as a reference guide since this helps collaborators or other researchers to determine the progress of the project. It’s also important to keep a consistent list of all terminologies, along with the names used when categorizing files.
- Secure all sensitive data. Some studies contain sensitive data so its important to keep everything secure in order to avoid data tampering and data theft. Make sure that these files can only be accessed by relevant and trusted individuals.
- Separate to-be-deleted data from the others. To protect client and respondent privacy and information, confidential and sensitive data should be handled so that they can easily be tracked and deleted when needed.
- Understand the tools being used and how useful it is. When using an online tool, the market researcher must know how to utilize it to fully take advantage of its features and uses. It is also necessary to determine if it’s the right platform by taking into consideration its accessibility, user-friendliness, security, and the like. A good example would be Glide Central, a qualitative multimedia content management and curation solution. Not only can it store a multitude amount of data, but with its robust tools, researchers are enabled to quickly arrive at insights needed for more impactful reporting.