The best analytical methods for a master’s dissertation. Wow, it is a great topic to discuss. If you are new to the world of writing a dissertation, data analysis can be very intimidating. With so many difficult concepts to cope with and so much abstract, performing a data analysis can be a minefield. However, fear not – in today’s article, I will unpack some of the best analytical methods you can use in your master’s dissertation. I will describe the methods one at a time so you can confidently approach your analysis. So, let’s start today’s discussion with the following question:
What exactly is meant by analytical methods?
Analytical methods mean using qualitative or quantitative techniques to determine the relationship between two or more variables. Different techniques are being employed for both types of data. It means there are different analytical methods for quantitative data and different methods for qualitative data.
Quantitative analytical methods
Before discussing quantitative analysis methods, it is imperative to know about the quantitative data. Quantitative data is number-based data. The research results are in the form of numerals on which you perform different analytical methods. What are those best analytical methods? A brief description is as follows as shared by top masters dissertation help service providers:
The first data analysis method used commonly in quantitative data analysis is the t-test method. In this test, the researcher compares the means or averages of the two data sets to look for their statistical differences. In other words, the researcher tries to find whether the data sets have different means, standard deviations, or skewness. This analytical method is very useful in understanding the differences between two data sets. For example, you may use this test to compare the mean blood pressure levels of two groups—one that has taken medication and the one that has not.
2. ANOVA Test
Kicking things up a little bit next comes the ANOVA test. ANOVA is an acronym for “Analysis of Variance.” This test is similar to the t-test in its operation. The only difference is that it compares the means of multiple groups rather than two groups at once. Simply, you test multiple groups or datasets to look for the differences in their means. For example, a group of psychiatric patients are trying three different therapies – counselling, medication, and biofeedback. As a researcher, you study the patients to see which therapy works better for them. Hence, it is all about the ANOVA test, considered one of the best analytical methods for quantitative data.
3. Correlation analysis
As the name suggests, this analytical method is about developing correlations between two variables. In other words, it measures the effect of increment and decrement in one variable on the other variable. For example, as a researcher, you may want to develop a correlation between the sales of ice cream and temperature increment. Your primary question in this example can be: Does an increment in temperature affect the sales of the ice cream? Here, the two variables are temperature increment and ice cream sales.
Qualitative analytical methods
Having discussed the quantitative methods, it is now time to talk about some best analytical methods for qualitative data. Before that, let’s define the qualitative data. Well, qualitative data is the one that contains No Numbers. Simply put, it is not the stuff you measure using some scale or complex mathematics. This data is in the form of expressions, words, and descriptions. The analytical methods most commonly used for this data are as follows:
1. Qualitative content analysis method
Content analysis is possibly the most simple and straightforward qualitative data analysis method. In its most simple definition, content analysis means unearthing the hidden patterns within a piece of information and evaluating them. This type of analysis can also be done across multiple pieces of information. So, it is not restricted to only one piece of information at a time. For example, you can do this analysis on a collection of newspapers or articles to evaluate different patterns.
With the help of this analysis, you can measure the frequency of the idea or a concept with which it is repeated in the content. For example, the number of times Kim Kardashian is mentioned on Twitter. It also enables you to identify the deep underlying interpretations.
2. Discourse analysis method
The word discourse is just a fancy replacement for word speech or debate. So, discourse analysis is about analysing and interpreting a language within its social context. What does the phrase “within the social context” mean here? It means the setting or culture in which the speech is delivered. For example, you can analyse how different politicians worldwide speak about terrorism.
To analyse the speech or language of someone, the understating of the cultural setting and history of those involved in the analysis is very important. So, if your master’s dissertation involves understanding culture and power dynamics, discourse analysis can be one of the best analytical methods.
3. Thematic analysis method
The name of this analysis method explains it pretty much. Thematic analysis is about looking for the patterns of meaning in a text. However, what does that mean? To perform this analysis, the researcher takes bodies of data and groups them in terms of similarities or any other factor he is interested in. Then, he develops themes out of that data. Those themes make the data sensible and help the researcher derive meaningful conclusions from it. For example, you are reviewing 500 reviews about a Sushi Restaurant. In this case, thematic analysis can best elaborate on what people think about that restaurant.
I have explained the top 6 and best analytical methods for qualitative and quantitative data in today’s article. Note that the list of methods does not end with these methods. There are many other methods that you still need to learn about. So, either go to the internet to look for those or stay tuned to this blog for the next article on those methods. Till then, learn the abovementioned methods and apply them in your master’s dissertation.