Jane Gregory is a member of the Susan Bell Research Team, and our Quality Manager. She is also the Professional Standards Officer for AMSRS. In this article, she explains how AMSRS helps members like us keep up to date with the way we handle personal data. Here are some of the things we do:
Remember the people
Qualitative research is all about understanding people. That’s why clients want us to conduct it. While it is easy to remember that at the ‘data collection’ stage, it can sometimes be forgotten that qualitative analysis should be about people too.
One of the challenges is that some of the methods researchers use for qualitative analysis seems to turn the fascinating insightful people who have participated in the research into a dry list of themes. Of course, identifying the themes that have emerged from the research is important, but the best research goes beyond just themes.
‘Despite all the hype, machine learning is not a be-all and end-all solution. We still need social scientists if we are going to use machine learning to study social phenomena in a responsible and ethical manner.’
I came across this quote in an article in Communications of the ACM by machine learning specialist Hanna Wallach. The article is called ‘Computational Social Science ≠Computer Science+ Social Data’.
At Susan Bell Research our clients increasingly ask how secure our systems are. Can we encrypt data? Yes we can. Do we have a risk management policy? Yes we do. We are lucky that we have our own IT Security specialist 'on staff'. Les Bell, Adjunct Lecturer in Cryptography and Information Security at Macquarie University and member of the Optus Macquarie University Cyber Security Hub, has written this piece about how to protect ourselves from what is probably the biggest cyber security threat faced by small and medium enterprises in Australia: ransomware.
What does it mean to have an ‘analysis plan’ for qualitative research?
When you have an analysis plan you know who will do what and how you are going to deal with the information.
- If you have several researchers working on a project, is everyone going to analyse their own interviews or groups independently or will you delegate it all to one person?
- Whether you are going to share the task, or if you are doing it all yourself, you need to know the answers to questions like these