What are your people saying about you? The importance of qualitative data

3 min read
Qualitative Data

In a world of simple and streamlined data collection and comparison, it can be easy to overlook the power of qualitative data.

What people say is what you get

Qualitative data collection can take many forms, from the structured interviews or surveys favoured by sociologists, to long-term ethnography or participant observation techniques preferred by anthropologists. Both are a world away from the numbers game of data-driven scientists.

But where does this fit into business?

Whilst often assumed to be about profit, loss, staff turnover, and sick days- all numerically calculated and measured, people and culture are what makes the world of business go round. Collecting, listening to and actioning suggestions and criticisms spoken directly by individuals within your organisation not only demonstrates a high level of trust and respect but also will help to discern where priority focus areas lie, without waiting for a pattern.

Although scanning through pages of verbatim comments may feel like a never-ending (and sometimes thankless) task, the information that can be collected is invaluable when considering the real-life lived experiences behind some of the numerical data that is collected.

Using qualitative data to identify priority areas for attention, means that not only are you working towards targets but also demonstrating your organisation’s willingness and ability to take on specific constructive criticism from individuals. Organisational culture is a product of behaviours, and to align those with how you aspire for your culture to be you need to hear what people say, as well as collecting and tracking numerical data.

Using Culture15 to streamline the process

Culture15’s newly designed Comments page is a reminder that, even when we have a Dashboard full of numbers for comparison and tracking, sometimes what people say and how they say it can be equally as important.

However, Culture15’s answer to this arduous task is our Sentiment and Topic analysis options which allow for a more streamlined experience, being able to select comments with positive or negative sentiment in regards to some most often mentioned topics such as ‘culture’ or ‘team’. This gives a deeper insight into which areas impact the numerical data the most, and what the respondents think is most important.

Despite Culture15’s focus on tracking improvements using our Culture Gap and Capabilities pages and the metric have created for our comments page, Net Sentiment Score, there is no better way to supplement these data than by reading and understanding how your organisation truly sees the culture in their own words.

Qualitative data is the often forgotten storehouse of information when it comes to large organisations, but it is an important resource to be explored particularly when navigating a shift in your cultural values.

Culture15 is your complete toolkit for tracking culture change. CEOs and Exec Teams at world-leading organisations use Culture15 analytics to ensure success by aligning their culture with what they need to execute their strategy. If you’d like to find out how to define the culture and values you need, diagnose the culture you have and close the gap, talk to our team. 

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