This two-day course will equip you with the tools, approaches and skills you need to bring together and effectively summarise different kinds of qualitative data and use this resource for service improvement.  

This intensive two-day course is led by Dr Ailsa Cook, an expert in qualitative data analysis and service improvement, who has more than 20 years of experience of leading courses on qualitative data analysis. 

**New dates announced**

  • Day 1: Tuesday 21 January 2020, 10am – 4pm    
  • Day 2: Tuesday 4 February 2020, 10am – 4pm   
  • Venue: The Dome Room, New Register House, Edinburgh
  • Cost: £549 including VAT
  • Early bird: £449 including VAT, book by 20 December 2019
  • OutNav Community: member discounts available

What to expect

We know that the best way to gain confidence in qualitative data analysis is to do it.  

Over the two days, Ailsa will take you on a practical journey through the process of planning for, gathering, analysing and reporting on some qualitative data. 

The course includes practical elements and you will have the opportunity to apply your learning to address service improvement issues in your current work.  

  • Learn when and why to use qualitative data and how to justify this.  
  • Learn how to integrate qualitative data with other forms of data and evidence, including quantitative data and formal research. 
  • Review the qualitative data available to you in your project or organisation and consider the strengths and limitations of different data sources. 
  • Try out a range of approaches and tools to gather qualitative data. 
  • Collectively identify a service improvement problem and make a plan to gather or collate some qualitative data to inform a response.  
  • Learn the core principles underpinning robust qualitative analysis and explore what ‘robust enough’ is for your work. 
  • Try out a range of qualitative data analysis approaches.  
  • Collaboratively analyse and report on some qualitative data.  

Who should attend this course?  

The course is designed for people delivering and leading on the improvement of public services who want to gain confidence in working with qualitative data. The course is suitable for people who are new to working with qualitative data as well as people with some experience of qualitative data gathering and analysis.

Why this course? 

At Matter of Focus we believe qualitative data is an invaluable source of evidence for those working to improve services.

Qualitative data:

  • shines a light on why things are working as they are, or not as the case may be.
  • allows improvement processes to be informed by the perspectives of diverse stakeholders.
  • is essential to meaningfully evaluating the impact of complex, people-based services.  

Many organisations gather rich qualitative data through their day to day practices that can be used to feed into service improvement: Feedback, testimonials, meeting notes, complaints, staff surveys, ‘user stories’, case studies, client records, social media channels, consultations can all be used as sources of evidence.  

However, often people working to evaluate and improve their service don’t have formal training in qualitative research, which means all this data can just seem overwhelming! 

This course is designed to bridge the gap between practical improvement skills and formal qualitative research training by providing you with a range of practical approaches to make the most of qualitative data in your service improvement work. 

I’ve found [the course] really useful…the content has been clear and well explained… The group size has been good, it’s not too large, so allows discussion. [The content is] really relevant, and I can see ways to start putting it into practice.

Nicola, Audit Scotland

By the end of the course you will:  

  • have knowledge, skills and practical tools to confidently gather, analyse and use qualitative data to improve your services. 
  • have a thorough understanding of ways of thinking about working with qualitative data for service improvement.  
  • know how, when and why to use qualitative data for service improvement.
  • understand what data and feedback to collect for your setting, and how to do it.
  • be able to integrate a range of practical approaches to qualitative data analysis into your day-to-day work.

Course fees: 

  • Early bird rate (book by 20 December 2019) £449 including VAT 
  • Thereafter, £549 including VAT
  • OutNav Community member discount available, please get in touch for details
  • Payment by invoice


Download and return the booking form by 20 December to receive your early bird discount. If you would prefer to receive the booking form by email please get in touch via the Contact Us page.

Booking Form