Qualitative Cluster Analysis



2. Nurturing Perspective

Qualitative ANalysis FunnelBricolage – Your Lens; Bias vs Informed Intuition, Nurturing perspective

By Christopher W. Miller, Ph.D., NPDP

In my last installment on the topic of synthesis in discovery I described how to organize your data using the what, so what, now what format. Now you have 500 structured nuggets of information from three or many sources. You probably feel like you have way too much or probably nothing at all. The lens through which you view this data is a critical factor in your success.

All data must be interpreted in some context in order to tell a meaningful story. This is true in quantitative and qualitative research. In a desperate search for publishable results, even academic medical research is going through a period of serious soul searching about a bias creeping into their most rigorous studies.

What if we let go of our negative connotation around bias and instead speak of it as Informed Intuition? We can describe our understanding as hard won knowledge based on years of experience.  As Informed Intuition we are more free to label our perspective as just that, perspective. Not something to be condemned but rather as our view of the world. As we put together our team we can think about having members with different perspectives… perhaps even naiveté is a valid perspective. Accepting that we all have a unique perspective levels the playing field of data and allows a conversation to move forward as a search for additional ways of viewing the world. At this stage we are not looking for facts. We are looking for hypotheses. It is okay and even important to look at the same data and see it as meaning different things.

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PABLO PICASSO (1881-1973) ‘Weeping Woman’, 1937

A colleague, Kevin Miller, an artist and facilitator calls this cubist thinking.
In the next Innovative Issues I will discuss the affinity sort and finding patterns in data.
Publication January 2017 is scheduled. Chris would enjoy hearing about your synthesis experience, the good, the bad and the ugly… and as always volunteer readers are welcome

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