A Journey Through Technology

How can data mining assist you in triangulating your research findings?

on October 24, 2015

Cohen & Crabtree (2006) define triangulation as the use of “multiple data sources in an investigation to produce understanding.” Qualitative research uses triangulation, as it involves collecting data from multiple sources, such as interviews, observations, and surveys, to answer a research question. Since multiple sources of data are used in qualitative research, it would be useful to be able to analyze the data from each of the different sources all at once. “Data mining…is the process of analyzing data from different perspectives and summarizing it into useful information.” (Palace, 1996) Data mining finds relationships between the different types of data collected during research in ways that a researcher might not be able to see. “Data mining discovers hidden information in your data, but it cannot tell you the value of the information to your organization.” (Oracle, 2008) Data mining is only part of the analysis process, because it still must be analyzed by the researcher in order for the information to have any meaning.

It is important to note that “collection and analysis should be a simultaneous process in qualitative research.” (Merriam & Tisdell, 2016, p.195) Qualitative research tends to evolve as it is being conducted, so it is a good idea not to wait until the end of data collection to start analyzing findings. If data analysis is performed during the collection process it can allow the researcher to make changes to the research design if needed.

References

Cohen, D., & Crabtree, B. (2006, July 1). Triangulation. Retrieved October 22, 2015.

Merriam, S., & Tisdell, E. (2016). Qualitative research: A guide to design and implementation (4th ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Oracle. (2008, May 1). What Is Data Mining? Retrieved October 22, 2015, from http://docs.oracle.com/cd/B28359_01/datamine.111/b28129/process.htm

Palace, B. (1996). Data Mining: What is Data Mining? Retrieved October 22, 2015, from http://www.anderson.ucla.edu/faculty/jason.frand/teacher/technologies/palace/datamining.htm.

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4 responses to “How can data mining assist you in triangulating your research findings?

  1. Tristan says:

    Even after the first day of data collection, I noticed that the research was evolving and it keeps doing that on a daily basis. I’m glad we do these blogs on a weekly basis and study these different aspects, because I don’t know if I would’ve started analyzing until the end if we hadn’t. Do you see any contradictions in the different types of data you are collecting? Like for example, I observe my students and they come across one way, but yesterday I gave them a survey and what they portrayed in their surveys was completely different, outside appearance and how they actually feel are not related at all, at least in my case. Good luck on the next week of data collection!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. pwjohnsen says:

    “Data mining…is the process of analyzing data from different perspectives and summarizing it into useful information.” (Palace, 1996) Thank you for this quote. I feel as if it answers our question this week clearly and succinctly.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. clindquist17 says:

    You wrote, “Qualitative research tends to evolve as it is being conducted, so it is a good idea not to wait until the end of data collection to start analyzing findings.” I appreciate that you included this in your blog. I had to do qualitative research for a class last spring and I did not know that I should analyze my findings as I went along. It was very frustrating for me in the end. I will not make that mistake again!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sara Lucas says:

      I totally agree. I didn’t even think about analyzing my data because I think I sort of do it automatically. I want to know what is going on if I am spending time trying to collect information. However it is good that it was pointed out to me. It makes me think to do more than just go over it in my head. Maybe at the end of this week I will go through some of my data just to be sure I am getting what I was hoping to get out of my data.

      Liked by 1 person

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