Qualitative research: what is ‘enough data’?

Students often wonder when they have enought data collected when doing qualitative research. The magic word is data saturation.

Data saturation is: ” .. New data tend to be redundant of data already collected. In interviews, when the researcher begins to hear the same comments again and again, data saturation is being reached… It is then time to stop collecting information and to start analysing what has been collected..” (Grady (1998: p. 26))

A more indepth explanation is provide in the article by Saunders et.al.(2017)



Saunders, B., Sim, J., Kingstone, T., Baker, S., Waterfield, J., Bartlam, B., … & Jinks, C. (2017). Saturation in qualitative research: exploring its conceptualization and operationalization. Quality & Quantity, 1-15.

Grady, M.P.(1998): Qualitative and Action Research: A Practitioner Handbook. Phi Delta Kappa Educational Foundation, Bloomington.

Analyzing qualitative data

the framework approach is an interesting way of analysing qualitative data in a structured/traceable way

Stage 1: Transcription

Stage 2: Familiarisation with the interview

Stage 3: Coding

Stage 4: Developing a working analytical framework

Stage 5: Applying the analytical framework

Stage 6: Charting data into the framework matrix

Stage 7: Interpreting the data

 see article + example via link

http://Using the framework method for the analysis of qualitative data in multi-disciplinary health research