Chapter 11: Quantitative Interview Techniques & Considerations

11.2 Analysis of Quantitative Interview Data

As with the analysis of survey data, analysis of quantitative interview data usually involves coding response options numerically, entering numeric responses into a data analysis computer program, and then running various statistical commands to identify patterns across responses. Chapter 10 describes the coding process for quantitative data. But what happens when quantitative interviews ask open-ended questions? In this case, responses are typically numerically coded, just as closed-ended questions are, but the process is a little more complex than simply giving a “no” a label of 0 and a “yes” a label of 1.

In some cases, quantitatively coding open-ended interview questions may work inductively, as described in Chapter 10. If this is the case, rather than ending with codes, descriptions of codes, and interview excerpts, the researcher will assign a numerical value to codes and may not utilize verbatim excerpts from interviews in later reports of results. With quantitative methods the aim is to be able to represent and condense data into numbers. The quantitative coding of open-ended interview questions is often a deductive process. The researcher may begin with an idea about likely responses to his or her open-ended questions and assign a numerical value to each likely response. Then the researcher will review participants’ open-ended responses and assign the numerical value that most closely matches the value of his or her expected response.