Hard Talk: Supporting Qualitative Data Needs workshop

Overview and slides that framed discussions about how best support small charities collect and analyse qualitative data

On 27 November 2023 we launched the Small Charity Data Journeys research report, holding a series of workshops to delve deeper into findings and explore ways of working.

During Hard Talk: Supporting Qualitative Data Needs, we shared how qualitative data was collected and analysed for the report and small charity experiences of qualitative data.

Experiences of supporting small charities

We then considered our own knowledge of small charity experiences of qualitative data and the challenges they face.

We also discussed whether data analysis tools were sufficiently accessible and affordable for smaller organisations, and if not, was there a place for Datawise London to support tools development or negotiate better pricing points. Through our discussions we discovered that in our experience:

  • Organisations can often vocalise stories from their work yet struggle to collect qualitative data or stories for a wide variety of purposes
  • Making data collection accessible and showing how sharing stories makes a real difference is vital to help smaller groups gather more qualitative data
  • Data is often collected in mixed formats and questions, such as multi-media or case studies alongside some free text survey data, which can be difficult to analyse
  • However, organisations need the freedom to collect data in multiple ways, with creative methods giving participants ownership of their own data and expression
  • Pricing points are changing for some commonly used data analysis tools
  • AI tools (free versions) may help smaller organisations analyse small amounts of text based data e.g. surveys, if the tool offers true data anonymity and risks are considered
  • Qualitative data analysis tools (e.g. for theming) are useful for research projects and projects analysing larger amounts of data, which may not be suitable for organisations in earlier stages of their data journeys.


Next steps

Superhighways runs a data training and support programme for small charities and community groups who are seeking to influence change by sharing their insights, funded by Trust for London. We will consider how we can change our existing programmes to better help charities make progress with qualitative data.

We will explore and map existing tools used for qualitative data collection and analysis and their changing pricing points. We'll consider options for sharing this, or developing learning resources that can help.


How you can get involved

We are also interested in hearing examples of what's worked in smaller organisations and the tools they used.

If you have an experience to share or know tools or techniques that work for smaller organisations with limited time and capacity, we'd love to hear from you. Please email sorrelparsons@superhighways.org.uk