Policy makers will not read everything produced in a consultation. They needs summaries and analyses of responses.
Tools for analysing quantitative data (e.g. from surveys) are well-known.
- Simple analyses are often built in to survey tools, like PHP Surveyor
- Full statistical analyses can be done in statistics packages like SPSS
But there is also software that can be used to analyse qualitative data.
- Computer aided qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS)
- Used to mark up transcripts with keywords, then use the software to bring together all the comments on each topic.
- well-known to academic researchers
- less so among consultation practitioners, biasing them towards quantitative data collection, and the simple explicit knowledge that acquires.
- With more use of CAQDAS on discussion forum transcripts or collected stories, it is possible to generate useful reports.
- CAQDAS software sites