The structure of EthnoHub is meant to support the movement from data to pre-analysis to analysis. Here we define key terms used in the system, and in the process, describe the analysis model we've used to structure the system.
Debrief notes and data are the starting points, the raw story - either a direct quote, a description, summarized notes, a photo - provided by a participant or by a researcher. Data and/or debrief notes must be in the system before analysis can begin. This is the mass of data that researchers will need to organize, make sense of, and interpret on the way to generating findings.
Clues are discrete observations of the data made by researchers. Clues connect to specific bits of data, and should be noted separately. "Bits" of data can be one phrase or sentence long, or even an entire paragraph. Do note that a given data entry, whether long or short, can give rise to multiple clues.
Clues should be used as evidence for findings. For this reason, it is necessary to start sorting and making sense of the collected (and input) data by first generating clues.
The next step in analysis is to review the set of clues researchers have generated, and to start tagging these clues. Tags can also be made at the time a clue is produced. Tags are a useful way of sorting the data. For example, tags can refer to activities, goals, behaviors, objects. The system supports free-from tagging; it's whatever the team decides is relevant to the project.
Best practice for tagging or coding clues is to decide as a team what key words or tags are most relevant to the project. Begin your coding by using those key words. Once more clues have been generated, the team (or even an individual researcher) may decide to expand the set of tags. The "tag cloud" presents an overview of all the tags that are being used, and is a very good way to see what themes are emerging from data analysis.
Findings are where patterns or emergent themes can be captured. The main way to develop findings using the system is to review the tags that researchers are attaching to clues. The tags show how clues connect to one another, and it is the connections between clues that reveal the patterns that are emerging.