Rapid Turn-Around Qualitative Research: Strategic Decision-making for Rigor and Feasibility

Rapid turn-around qualitative research depends on strategic decision-making to make data collection and analysis feasible without compromising rigor and depth of inquiry. It is typically characterized by targeted research questions, strategic methods selection, and defined deliverables, due to stakeholders within a short timeframe. In this vein, we need to build skills for being responsive to what is happening in the field—emphasizing methodological flexibility and remaining attentive to opportunities for emergent discovery.

We begin this course by addressing the design and execution of rapid turn-around qualitative research, including rapid analysis. We will then focus on building additional analytic skills to move beyond early stages of reviewing and condensing data to more emergent and integrative techniques for discerning conceptual bridges and connective threads across data.

The following analytic issues will be addressed using a varied set of examples:

  • integrating conceptual or theoretical frameworks into rapid analysis;
  • conducting team-based rapid analysis;
  • exploring themes in rapid analysis;
  • moving from rapid analysis to other analytic tools (e.g., diagrams, codes);
  • fostering and maintaining rigor; and
  • synthesizing and presenting rapid analysis results in different types of deliverables (e.g., reports, summaries, presentations, manuscripts).

Limitations of rapid analysis will be discussed, as will innovations, such as adaptations for large datasets, and data visualization techniques. We will also explore future directions in this type of research.

This course will provide participants with resources for building the foundational qualitative knowledge necessary for this work as well as strategies and tools for increasing methodological flexibility and managing the rigor of data collection and analysis. The course will draw on material from:

  • Maietta, R., Mihas, P., Swartout, K., Petruzzelli, J., & Hamilton, A. B. (2021). Sort and Sift, Think and Shift: Let the Data Be Your Guide, An Applied Approach to Working With, Learning From, and Privileging Qualitative Qualitative Report26(6), 2045-2060. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2021.5013
  • Hamilton, A., Finley, E. (2019). Qualitative Methods in Implementation Research: An Introduction. Psychiatry Research, Oct; 280:112516. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2019.112516