Data Analysis and Interpretation for PhD Dissertations – A Step-by-Step Guide

Data Analysis and Interpretation for PhD Dissertations – A Step-by-Step Guide

Written by Kenneth Sawyer, In Education, Published On
November 1, 2023

PhD dissertation is a complex and challenging process for most PhD students due to its multiple steps. It takes almost longer than one year to complete a doctoral dissertation. Some students typically spend their two years conducting research, reviewing literature review, organising raw data and then analysing it. Data analysis and interpretation for PhD dissertation is the most critical, toughest procedure that leaves stuck behind most of the students.

According to Business Research Methodology

Data analysis is going to involve identifying common patterns within the responses and critically analysing them to achieve research aims and objectives.”

In dissertation writing, the methodology chapter is a discussion of the methods of data analysis. In this section, you have to explain briefly how you analyse your primary data by using which data analysis method or a plan. Students find it tough as compared to other steps in the whole dissertation process and encounter a lot of challenges regarding it.

Over here, they require a step-by-step guide to overcome these hurdles. Furthermore, they can also avail of dissertation writing services and get quick solutions to all their problems without any hassle.

What is a Dissertation Data Analysis Plan?

Data Analysis and Interpretation

A data analysis plan is a methodology that involves examining the primary and secondary data. In this process, the main focus is to analyse each research hypothesis. When developing a dissertation data analysis plan, it is crucial to address data cleaning, assumptions and transformations of the analyses, along with the strategy that you have chosen to analyse your data.

Usually, it takes 1 or 2 weeks to complete a data analysis and interpretation for a dissertation.

This process involves the following aspects: 

  • Editing your research questions and null/alternative hypotheses
  • Choose your data analysis plan and specify the appropriate statistical technique to address the research questions within the justification and all the assumptions of your selected data. 
  • Provide a reference that supports your data analysis method
  • Justify your sample size and explain what the plan entails.

Data Analysis and Interpretation for PhD Dissertation: Step-By-Step Guide 

Data analysis and interpretation for PhD dissertation is a trickier procedure that requires students’ full dedication and time to develop an analysis plan. In this process, there are some steps that you have to pass through, such as: 

 Collect Qualitative Data 

The incorporation of technology is changing almost every major professional field, and accounting is no different. Over the last few years, AI, machine learning, and a host of other technologies have advanced rapidly, allowing them to transform conventional practices significantly. Although a human touch is still mandatory, accountants have their work cut out for them with all the latest software and cloud-based solutions available in the market. Although the demand for accountants in the job market continues to grow, their responsibilities do too. According to statistics made available by Sage, a cloud business management solutions provider, 82% of accountants say that their clients demand greater value for money and the extent of services these days. Moreover, 67% of accounting professionals believe their field has become more competitive nowadays than ever.  Top 6 Trends Accountants Should Watch Out For It is clear that things are changing for accountants globally. So, what are the trends that professionals should look out for? Here are a few: Cloud-based accounting solutions Cloud computing is allowing businesses, both small and large, to streamline various internal as well as external functions. As per recent statistics, 53% of accounting companies already use cloud-based solutions to enhance communication and introduce greater efficiency in their project management department. On top of this, 67% of businesses feel that their sustainability and ability to better carry out roles in the future will improve through cloud technology.  Naturally, since the role of cloud computing is already this extensive and growing further, accountants need to be on their toes with respect to it. Professionals for whom cloud-based solutions are fairly new can start to learn more about them through digital resources like the MACC online programs. These courses combine flexibility and time efficiency to facilitate professionals in diversifying their current skill sets to encompass the newest trends.  Digitalization and automation For the past few years and especially after the COVID-19 pandemic, digitalization has become a fundamental part of modern businesses. Thankfully, accountants have been privy to this trend for a long time now. A vast array of online tools has enabled accounting professionals to efficiently execute their tasks more quickly than ever before. This trend of automation and digitalization will only continue, even gathering steam as time progresses.  In accounting, a substantial 86% of tasks like journal entries and ledger balancing can undergo automation thanks to the sophisticated tools available on the market. Even a basic Excel sheet can automate many tasks accountants had to perform manually a few years ago. Since a lot of the work that accountants do can be simplified through automation, like the manual retrieval of financial records and verifying transactions, it is important for professionals to stay up-to-date with this change.  Growing focus on analytics and data management Data has become one of the most valuable currencies of the modern age. Still, raw data is of little use to businesses. As a result, there is a growing focus on analytics these days as this function allows random numbers to make sense for people to use in strategic decision-making. This fact holds essential relevance to accountants because they have access to some of the most important data in the company. Through analytics, past performance can be evaluated, and future projections estimated according to it.  As time moves on, businesses will require accountants to focus more on analyzing data to gauge as well as assess financial figures for the future. This data allows companies to track their goals and objectives and achieve other business aspirations like expansion or consolidation. Therefore, the focus on analytics is another trend that accountants should consider.  Digital bookkeeping Although this trend has already been around for many years, experts predict that it will continue to expand in the future. Paper is increasingly becoming the less preferable medium for recording transactions. There are companies out there that still keep physical records of their financial statements, but most have shifted towards paperless bookkeeping for many years. The companies that currently keep paper records will eventually go digital completely, so this is something that accountants need to be ready for. The expanding role of social media Most people believe that social media can’t possibly have an impact on accounting. That is extremely far from the truth. Social media, in particular, and digital media, in general, are the most effective mediums for advertising. Accounting firms are no different as these platforms offer them extensive reach, the ability to engage with existing and prospective clients, and also communicate key messages about the firm to the world.  Through the use of social media, accounting businesses are able to get their word out into the world. At the same time, it also allows them to portray themselves in a manner that can attract new talent. Job demand in the accounting field continues to grow, and promoting the firm’s culture, work ethics, and portfolio on social media allows future employees to take an interest in working for the company. This is a trend that has been around for years and will only continue to evolve in the future.   Integration of Blockchain technology The world of cryptocurrencies still inspires hot debates amongst financial experts. And while the volatility of this market keeps many at bay, there is consensus on the fact that the underlying technology that powers many cryptocurrencies is here to stay. Known as Blockchain technology, this decentralized ledger system is already making its way into the financial world. From remittances to record keeping in the financial industry, a lot is being done through this technology.  With experiments that continue, experts predict that sooner or later, the role of Blockchain will grow further, especially in the field of accounting. Since this technology allows more efficient record keeping and provides higher quality data, accountants find numerous advantages to working with it. Additionally, it is nearly impossible to alter information stored on a Blockchain, making it a life-saver for finance and accounting professionals who are continuously dealing with threats from hackers and other cybercriminals around the world.  Conclusion Most of the evolution of the accounting field is because of state-of-the-art technology solutions. As time passes, many trends like automation, integration of Blockchain, focus on analytics, and digital record keeping will expand even further. In order for current accounting professionals to stay relevant in their jobs, they need to be aware of these shifting dynamics and adjust their skill sets accordingly. Not only does this allow them to embrace a stronger position, but it also gives them the opportunity to grow their career substantially.  

Qualitative data collection is exploratory and always focuses on discovery. This data type is robust evidence that students can use to support their main concept by focusing on reasoning, discovering insights, and in-depth analysis. Before you move to plan your strategy, you first need to collect data by using various data collection methods. 

According to Grand Canyon University, some of the most commonly used data collection methods are as follows

  • Visual records
  • Focus group observation 
  • One-on-one interviews 
  • Checking previous records 
  • In-depth self-observation by experimenting 

 Prepare Your Collected Data for Analysis

When done with data collection, it’s time to prepare it for qualitative data analysis. It is a very crucial and integral step in efficiently analysing your data and coming up with better interpretations.

To prepare data, you need to consider the following aspects: 

  • To know about unfamiliar words and tough terminologies, first, you must read your data multiple times. 
  • Identify and understand your research objectives for better clarification. 
  • Then, develop a structure in which you categorise and organise your data. 
  • Look at the overall concept and topic central subject matter and how your study design directly addresses the research question to solve it. 

 Select a Data Analysis Method

data analysis

There are several PhD dissertation data analysis methods to analyse your collected data. The methodology you choose is directly related to your research question or problem statement.

Some of the most commonly used and effective methods are as follows: 

  • Content analysis
  • Thematic analysis 
  • Narrative analysis 
  • Phenomenological analysis
  • Grounded theory analysis

All the above methods are very effective and most commonly used in data analysis. You can choose any of them according to your field of study and research problem.  

 Apply Data Analysis Method on Your Dissertation 

When selecting an appropriate data analysis technique, apply this methodology to your collected and analysed data. This provides a solid foundation for interpretation and evaluation. 

It is important to collect data, organise it well and then analyse data carefully by implementing a suitable data analytical method for fruitful and meaningful insights. 


data analysis

After applying the data analysis strategy, you are now able to interpret. When you have reached your interpretation zone, you need to delve deeper into the text. For this purpose, you need to contextualise it and understand carefully where your topic of discussion sits in the grand scheme of things.

Consider its relevance to the subject matter and also its practical implementation. When you think about the central meaning and implementation of your study design, you need to ask some questions yourself to guide your interpretation process.

Such as: 

  • Can you infer it from the argument? 
  • Who will benefit from this research study design? 
  • Does the topic of discussion explicitly state its theoretical position?
  • How does the concept compare to other academic literature in this area? 
  • Is it a debatable, controversial topic in the present or the near future? 
  • What perspective does it support, and what does it challenge in future? 
  • How does it set its position with distinctive features in contradicting establishments? 
  • What target audience might not apply this research study?
  • What is the scope of this topic in regions, sets of different groups, and organisations? 
  • How might your own biases and theoretical stance affect your interpretation of the text? 

When you ask yourself all the above questions for good qualitative data analysis and Interpretation for dissertation, obviously, you will find answers on your own because you are conducting this whole research.

If you do not find any answer, do more research according to the research question and find its appropriate answer. Answering these questions will help you develop a critical understanding of the text and get you closer to achieving the best evaluation. 


Data analysis and Interpretation for PhD dissertation is all about better clarification, understanding, interpretation, and evaluation, which is a technical task instead of writing a simple paper. This section in the PhD dissertation is the central part on which the entire quality of your dissertation lies. Typically, almost every student finds difficulties while attempting this section. Some of them need a guide that will make this hectic process easier. For those, we have formulated a list of proven techniques for better results.

But if you find yourself still confused and stuck, then it is the better option for you to avail of dissertation writing help and get rid of this time-consuming and complex task. When you get these help from a reliable dissertation writing firm, you will get good analysis and interpretation help to develop valuable outcomes and ultimately enjoy high grades.

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