PUB 550 Describe the process of coding qualitative data

PUB 550 Describe the process of coding qualitative data

PUB 550 Describe the process of coding qualitative data

Coding in qualitative research is the process of sorting and organizing non-quantified data. This involves separating a word or phrase and using a code to tag it. The code describes a portion of data and is used to separate the information into unique categories, allowing researchers to find and cluster related content quickly.

With deductive coding, we make use of pre-established codes, which are developed before you interact with the present data. This usually involves drawing up a set of codes based on a research question or previous research. You could also use a code set from the codebook of a previous study. Deductive coding allows you to approach your analysis with a very tightly focused lens and quickly identify relevant data. Of course, the downside is that you could miss out on some very valuable insights as a result of this tight, predetermined focus. 

Inductive coding is great when you’re researching something that isn’t yet well understood because the coding derived from the data helps you explore the subject. Therefore, this type of coding is usually used when researchers want to investigate new ideas or concepts, or when they want to create new theories. 


Qualitative Data Coding: Explained Simply (With Examples) – Grad Coach

Finding themes and patterns in your qualitative data may be done through the process of methodically classifying extracts. The best technique to comprehend your data more thoroughly is by coding the qualitative data. With the help of qualitative coding, it allows you to organize unstructured or semi-structured material, such the transcripts of in-depth interviews or focus groups, into themes and patterns for analysis. Your analysis is made more methodical and rigorous by qualitatively coding your data. Additionally, it allows you to be open and reflective toward others as well as toward oneself. It will make it possible for you to identify insights that are accurately reflective of your data and the human narratives that underlie them. 

With inductive coding, you start from scratch and deduce your codes from the data. Instead of starting with preconceived ideas about what the codes should be, you let the story or theory develop naturally from the raw data. This is excellent for exploratory research or when you wish to develop fresh hypotheses, notions, or ideas. 

When using deductive coding, you build a codebook with your original set of codes first. You might base this collection of questions on your own study, an existing framework for research, or a theory. Afterward, you read the data and assign codes to extracts. Your codes should be quite similar to the codebook you started with when you’ve finished your analysis. When you already know the format in which you want your conclusions to be presented, this is a positive thing. 


Saldana, Johnny (2009). The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage. 

The differences between an inductive and a deductive approach in qualitative data.

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In an inductive approach to research, a researcher begins by collecting data that is relevant to her topic of interest. Once a substantial amount of data have been collected, the researcher will get a bird’s eye view of the data. Thus, when researchers take an inductive approach, they start with a set of observations and then they move from those particular experiences to a more general set of propositions about those experiences. In other words, they move from data to theory, or from the specific to the general. In this approach, researchers gather data on a specific level of focus, then look for patterns by analyzing the data, then eventually develop theories.

PUB 550 Describe the process of coding qualitative data
PUB 550 Describe the process of coding qualitative data

Researchers taking a deductive approach take the steps described earlier for inductive research and reverse the order. They start with a social theory that they find compelling and then test its implications with data. That is, they move from a more general level to a more specific one. A deductive approach to research is one that people typically associate with scientific investigation. The researcher studies what others have done, read existing theories of whatever phenomenon that is being studied, and then tests hypotheses that emerge from those theories. This approach starts from theorizing or formulating a hypothesis, then analyzing the data, and lastly the specific level of focus by discussing whether the hypothesis was supported or not.


Bonner, C., Tuckerman, J., Kaufman, J., Costa, D., Durrheim, D. N., Trevena, L., Thomas, S., & Danchin, M. (2021, September 15). Comparing inductive and deductive analysis techniques to understand health service implementation problems: A case study of childhood vaccination barriers – implementation science communications. BioMed Central. Retrieved August 2, 2022, from 

Coding describes what the data you’re analyzing are about in qualitative research. Coding is the process of locating a passage in a text or other data object, searching for and defining concepts, and determining their relationships. Deductive coding is a coding method in which you create a codebook to use while a reference as you go through the coding process. When performing heuristic or exploratory research and knowing nothing about the research topic, the inductive coding approach is used. Inductive coding, also known as open coding, begins with a blank slate and generates codes based on the qualitative data. You don’t have a fixed codebook; all codes come from the survey responses themselves. Schadewitz and Jachna (2007) mentions that deductive analysis involves use of language, structure ,and format for a design pattern. Deductive coding the process of starting with a predetermined collection of codes and then assigning certain codes to new qualitative data. These codes could come from previous research or you could already have an idea of what themes you want to look at. Concept-driven coding is another name for deductive coding.


Schadewitz, N., & Jachna, T. (2007). Comparing inductive and deductive methodologies for design patterns identification and articulation.

You made some excellent points describing coding. In fact, I developed so much interest in coding after my Psychology classes. The social science disciplines of anthropology, sociology, and psychology serve as the foundation for qualitative research. Since the interviewer or researcher also strives to understand the respondents’ purpose and sentiments, the qualitative research techniques allow for in-depth and additional probing and questioning of respondents depending on their replies. To draw conclusions from market research, it might be helpful to understand how your audience makes decisions (Lohaj et al., 2022).

It was the social and behavioral sciences that first developed qualitative research techniques. Our world is increasingly intricate now, making it challenging to comprehend how individuals think and view the world. That is simpler to grasp since online qualitative research methodologies are more conversational and descriptive.

The practice of classifying extracts from your qualitative data to discover themes and patterns is known as qualitative coding (Lohaj et al., 2022). Gaining a deeper understanding of your data through the coding of qualitative data is quite beneficial.

It lets you organize unstructured or semi-structured data into thematic analysis is a method for analysis using qualitative coding, such as recordings from the interviews.


Lohaj, O., Pella, Z., & Paralic, J. (2022). Data analytics methods for analyzing the impact of factors on early detection of cardiovascular risk. 2022 IEEE 20th Jubilee World Symposium on Applied Machine Intelligence and Informatics (SAMI), Applied Machine Intelligence and Informatics (SAMI), 2022 IEEE 20th Jubilee World Symposium On, 000249–000254.

Qualitative data coding is the process of creating and assigning codes to categorize data extracts. Coding is a way of making sure your data is valid. In other words, it helps ensure that your analysis is undertaken systematically and that other researchers can review it (in the world of research, we call this transparency). In other words, good coding is the foundation of high-quality analysis. Coding involves a process of reading through your data, applying codes to excerpts, conducting various rounds of coding, grouping codes according to themes, and then making interpretations that lead to your ultimate research findings, (Grand Canyon University, [GCU] 2016a).  You may start with an initial round of coding to summarize or describe excerpts, and then do a second round of coding that adds your interpretive lens. Once the researcher is familiarized with the data, the researcher strives to identify small meaning units called the ‘codes.’ The codes are then grouped based on their shared concepts to form the primary categories.

Deductive coding is a top-down approach where you start by developing a codebook with your initial set of codes, (Bodine, 2021). This set could be based on your research questions or an existing research framework or theory. You then read through the data and assign excerpts to codes. At the end of your analysis, your codes should still closely resemble the codebook that you started with. This is good when you have a pre-determined structure for how you need your final findings to be. For example, program evaluation studies may utilize a deductive coding approach.

 Inductive coding is a ground-up approach where you derive your codes from the data, (Bodine,2021). You don’t start with preconceived notions of what the codes should be but allow the narrative or theory to emerge from the raw data itself. This is great for exploratory research or for coming up with new theories, ideas, or concepts.


Bodine, F., (2021). Coding qualitative data: Research 101. Retrieved From:

Grand Canyon University. (2016a). Quantitative and Qualitative Research Concepts: Glossary.

 I agree with you that qualitative data coding enables the categorizing of data extracts. The data coding process create and assign codes. The assigned codes are responsible for categorizing data extracts. Most people may struggle to locate a text in a passage when researching. Therefore, qualitative data coding helps researchers struggling to locate and analyze text in data items (Castleberry & Nolen, 2018). Coding require intense reading of the data. Reading allows the research to understand the coding language. Understanding the language allows a person to analyze and interpret used codes. Reasoning in qualitative data coding is necessary (Raskind et al., 2019). Deductive and inductive reasoning may be used in data coding without the research noticing. Deductive reasoning applies in-depth analysis of the codes before choosing. Inductive reasoning is quick thinking while working on qualitative data coding. A quick reaction may be triggered by an observation. Different types on reasoning may be required in various activities in data coding.


Castleberry, A., & Nolen, A. (2018). Thematic analysis of qualitative research data: Is it as easy as it sounds?. Currents in pharmacy teaching and learning10(6), 807-815.

Raskind, I. G., Shelton, R. C., Comeau, D. L., Cooper, H. L., Griffith, D. M., & Kegler, M. C. (2019). A review of qualitative data analysis practices in health education and health behavior research. Health Education & Behavior46(1), 32-39.

Coding is the process of classifying and arranging qualitative data in order to find distinct themes and their connections. You give labels to words or phrases that indicate essential (and recurrent) topics in each response while coding client feedback. Words, phrases, and numbers can be used as labels; however, we prefer choosing words or short phrases because they are simpler to recall, skim, and arrange.

Thematic analysis, which is part of qualitative data analysis, entails coding qualitative research to uncover common themes and concepts. Thematic analysis is a technique for extracting themes from literature by examining the structure of words and sentences.

The process of evaluating and interpreting qualitative data to determine what it represents is known as qualitative data analysis.

When looking at customer feedback, qualitative data is defined as any non-numerical and unstructured data; when looking at reviews, open-ended responses in surveys, complaints, chat messages, customer interviews, case notes, or social media posts, qualitative data usually refers to any verbatim or text-based feedback. Woiceshyn, J., & Daellenbach, U. (2018).

Deductive and inductive coding are building blocks that make up a variety of different methods for coding. You can code with a full deductive method, full inductive method, or a combination of them.

Deductive coding is a top down approach where you start with a set of predetermined codes and then find excerpts that fit those codes.

Inductive coding is a bottom up approach where you start with no codes and develops codes as you analyze the dataset.


Saldana, Johnny (2009). The Coding Manual for Qualitative Researchers. Thousand Oaks, California: Sage.

Woiceshyn, J., & Daellenbach, U. (2018). Evaluating inductive vs deductive research in management studies: Implications for authors, editors, and reviewers. Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal.