Tom Webster, writing and speaking

Processing Qualitative Research Data With Tinderbox

Added on by Tom Webster.

I wrote a while back that I often use a piece of software for the Mac called Tinderbox to churn through messy, unstructured focus group data and see the meaning and inherent structure in a soup of qualitative data. I was fortunate to be asked to present my method at a Tinderbox Weekend last November by Tinderbox auteur Mark Bernstein. It's a complicated process at the start, but once it's set up correctly you can zip through qualitative research data pretty quickly and develop structure in the process. Tinderbox is great for this because, unlike a traditional outliner, you don't have to impose that structure at the beginning of the process, and you don't have to find a single "box" to put information in. Qualitative data is messy, because people are messy--they don't all fit into single boxes either.

Mark (and Eastgate's Stacy Mason) have been noodging me to make a screencast of this process, and I've finally gotten around to doing just that. The video is a bit over 30 minutes long and you might want to make this full-screen, as some of the text might be a bit small. This may be interesting to qualitative researchers, Tinderbox fans or insomniacs. Enjoy!