Analyzing the Right Information Doesn’t Have to be a Needle in a Haystack
By: Patrick P. | October 10, 2016
Each day of our lives, we are presented with countless challenges where we have to make decisions. How we can assure that we make the best solutions is based on the information that we have at hand. Now, we so much information bombarding us, how can we make the task of analyzing them easier so we can achieve the optimal results? How will we be able to make sure that the information we gathered is accurate? If a professional is able to analyze information, he or she won’t be overwhelmed by its sheer volume.
As professionals, we need to do a lot of research, and by that, we need to analyze the data we gather. This is so that whatever information we analyze for our clients, it will be accurate and not overwhelming. Here are some steps that can give you an idea on how you can analyze information.
Reviewing the Questions
All kinds of research start with a set of questions that needs to be answered. You can review such questions that you used to be able to generate information. You can ask yourself the following questions.
- Was this information necessary? If so, why?
- What were the questions that this information was supposed to have answered?
- What are the decisions to be made based on such information?
Try to look at your understanding of the key questions and the central issues in a different way. Do not just ignore unanticipated results. When you put information together, you will most likely raise unforeseen questions that are both relevant and important. You can take not of them for future reference so you may be able to point them out when you are presenting the results.
- Gather all of the relevant information that you have collected.
- Cluster them into groups of the same theme or topic.
- You will find out that some information has been analyzed already while some have only been partially analyzed and some are yet to be analyzed.
Deciding How to Analyze Information
Sometimes, an analysis is simple. It can be taking the sum of numbers and finding its average. At times, it can be a comparison of information and looking at its relationship with one another. Deciding how to analyze the information you have gathered highly depends on your research questions and what kind of data you are trying to achieve. It can be quantitative which is more about numbers or qualitative which is more about a descriptive narrative.
- Take note of the sources of your information.
- Is it a source with a good reputation?
- Is the information merely propaganda or biased?
- Take not of the differences and the similarities.
- To contrast information, set two things in opposition so that the differences will be revealed.
- You can relate information to another and see if they have any relationship.
- What are the themes that emerged?
- What are the gaps?
- Is the information you gathered sufficient enough for you to solve your problem or for you to make a decision?
To integrate your analyzed information, put them in such a way that it will be able to tell a complete story. It is not possible to get all the information that you need. Therefore, there are going to be times that it is up to your intelligent assumptions to fill the gaps. Your experiences in your life will help you and assist you in choosing the correct assumptions.
This is a simple and easy way that can help you in analyzing information. Remember that the quality of your analysis still depends on the quality of information that you have. That is why you have to keep in mind to pay attention every time you are gathering information.
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