Primary data analysis is the original analysis of data collected for a research study. Analyzing primary data is the process of making sense of the collected data to answer research questions or [Page 1318]support or reject research hypotheses that a study is originally designed to assess. The choice of data analysis methods depends on the type of data collected, quantitative or qualitative. Quantitative data are collected when researchers rely on measurement, or assigning numerical values to units, to indicate the relative levels or degrees of the variables under investigation, whereas qualitative data are textual data that are produced in the form of participants’ transcribed or researchers’ descriptive accounts. This entry provides an overview of basic quantitative and qualitative data analysis techniques.
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