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How Does MAXQDA Support Focus Group Data Analysis?

Conducting focus groups and group interviews occupies an important role in social and market research. Focus groups offer a high potential for diverse analyses, therefore there are many specific features available in MAXQDA that allow for the simple and effective analysis of focus group transcripts (besides all the standard tools that, of course, can also be applied to focus group data). For simplicity we use only the term “focus groups” in MAXQDA and in this manual, although the functions are all suitable for the analysis of group interviews as well.

Important: In order to use the analysis functions described in this chapter, it is necessary that your transcripts have been imported into the MAXQDA project as focus group transcripts, so that the participants’ contributions were automatically coded with the speaker’s names. How exactly the import works and how you can convert transcripts that have already been imported or were created in MAXQDA into a focus group transcript is described in this section.

In this chapter, we will present the following features:

  • Search for words and phrases within contributions of selected speakers.
  • The “Overview of Focus Group Speakers” that allows to answer questions such as: Who has spoken at what frequency? How extensive are the contributions of each speaker, in words or characters?
  • Individual participants can be activated directly in the “Document System”, so you can easily compile the statements of individuals on selected topics. Background information on the participants, such as age and professional experience, can be stored as variables for focus group participants and used for the specific and comparative analysis of groups.
  • Use the Code Matrix Browser and the Crosstab for Focus Groups to create visualizations such as “Themes x Speakers”, with which participants or groups of participants can be compared by diverse themes, arguments, positions, and viewpoints in the allocation of codes.

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