Qualitative analysis aims to increase the overall understanding of the quality, characteristics and meanings of the researched object or topic. You can use methods based on the orientations of the Philosophy of Science to carry out qualitative analysis. Some of these methods have a narrow analytical focus linked to a particular way of doing analysis while others have broader analytical focus for treating data. A common feature in qualitative methods of analysis is an emphasis on the points of view concerning expressions, language and the object´s surroundings, backgrounds, aims and meanings. Humanistic research is often qualitative.
Qualitative and quantitative analysis form a methodological pair. Quantitative analysis is based on describing and interpreting the research object statistically and with numbers. There is a clearly defined difference between qualitative and quantitative analysis. You can use both strategies in one research project and investigate a single research topic with both strategies, but in different ways. While either qualitative or quantitative methods directly form the basis of most methods of analysis, a mid-way point between qualitative or quantitative methods applies to several methods of analysis. Whether or not you decide to combine qualitative and quantitative methods in one study depends on the aims of your study and your philosophical position.
Read more on qualitative analysis from the links below.
Read what is written in Strategies on qualitative research.