Theory Analysis in Data Evaluation

The second part of the evaluation process which is theory analysis, is all about interpreting the results from your data collection. You can employ a variety analysis methods to understand the significance of the data you have collected, which includes qualitative and quality methods.

Depending on the kind of analysis you are conducting depending on the type of analysis you are conducting, you may need to discover recurring themes and patterns within your data or look for connections between different items. The process of analysis involves sorting, coding, and the comparison of your data with other theories and concepts, and it involves interpreting what you are discovering through your data.

For example when you conduct qualitative research on participants in a program, you can use theories such as grounded theory (GT) to guide the process of analysis and help you develop an understanding of your data. GT is a research technique that lets you discover theories by constantly interacting between data collection and analysis. The GT process typically involves open coding to identify interesting phenomena in the data and axial coding to discover relationships between different phenomena and selective coding where you choose a central theme to keep the ideas that are emerging together.

The fundamental category is an aggregation of all the new phenomena. It could be an individual concept or a collection of related concepts. The concept chosen is compared to a theory, and the fit is evaluated through repeated comparisons of events with the chosen concept. Memos are used to reflect and record the new concepts at this phase.

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