Focusing on the Case in Quantitative and Qualitative Research

This website introduces an approach to social science data analysis for both qualitative and quantitative data, where the focus of the analysis is the 'case' and the key analytical tool is comparison. The case may be a person, an organisation or a community. The site tackles methodological questions and provides a practical introduction to the use of computer software to assist in comparative analysis. We hope that the site will be useful for research students and researchers who are familiar with basic qualitative and quantitative social science methods and are looking for novel ways of exploring data.

The Focusing on the Case project, funded by the ESRC (2004-2005) as part of the Research Methods Programme, was led by David Byrne, Professor of Sociology at the University of Durham and Wendy Olsen, Lecturer in Socio-Economic Research, at the Cathie Marsh Centre for Census & Survey Research, University of Manchester.

The project consisted of a series of workshops of which this website was an integral part. The website has since been updated (October 2009) but the details of the workshops have been retained to allow the user to understand how the contents were developed and used. By following the links on the left for each workshop, you can work through the course materials for each method and, by accessing the data files on the workshop page, you can try out some of the techniques for yourself.

The project had two interlinked aims:

The combined training and research dialogues were run through a series of two-day research workshops held during July, September and December 2004 and January 2005.

More about the rationale for the project

Project team and contact details






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