Content analysis: Exploring the different analysis stages and reporting options

July 21, 2022

When brands or organisations wish to uncover perceptions, themes or patterns in the market, they often employ content analysis. This popular market research method can be qualitative or quantitative, collecting data from written, visual or verbal sources. In our previous blog, you can learn more about the various benefits these types of content analysis provide. In this blog, we share our guide on the different analysis stages and reporting options you can employ for your research project.

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Qualitative analysis

A popular data collection method for qualitative studies is IDIs (in-depth interviews). However, you could also apply the approaches described below to other methods, such as focus group sessions.


First stage content analysis

This initial stage reviews each interview, adding the relevant data to template questions in a capture sheet. It also often records key verbatim for closer analysis.


Second stage content analysis

 The next step is to combine and organise the data from multiple interviews, often working from the capture sheets used in the first analysis stage. Any points of interest are addressed to develop ideas for the report.


Once these two steps have been completed, you can select from one or more of the below report types to present your findings.


Top-line or summary reports

Also known as one-pager reports, top-line reports present a brief summary of the key findings from the data collection and analysis, often using a predetermined template. These reports are typically completed by the moderator and updated after each interview, providing a helpful addition to the first or second stage analysis.


Full market reports 

These reports include all aspects of the data collection, the moderator’s observations and key verbatim quotes. The moderator will usually create these, too, with or without a template, depending on the project requirements. These can be used in conjunction with a top-line report.


Comprehensive or moderator debrief reports

Using PowerPoint or a similar presentation tool, moderators create and present the key findings from all interviews, including verbatim quotes and evaluations. These presentations create a platform for discussion with the relevant stakeholders, where questions can be asked about the study and its results.

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Quantitative analysis

Surveys, now usually online, are the most common method used for carrying out quantitative research. Questions are generally close-ended or multiple choice to allow for numerical data measurement.


The data can then be analysed using the following methods:


  • Raw data analysis – using an Excel sheet or similar to organise the source information and identify patterns
  • SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) data analysis – using purpose-built quantitative analysis software that employs manipulation tools to classify the responses of a survey
  • Data tables – the use of tables, charts or graphs designed specifically to organise and display the data collected


Coding combines the deeper insightful value offered through qualitative data collection with the pragmatic statistical analysis of quantitative analysis by taking open-ended responses and grouping them into categories according to a predetermined structure.



Following the organisation of the data collected using these methods, market researchers can then analyse and present their findings using one or more reporting methods described above.



There are several approaches to analysis and reporting when carrying out your research project. The ones you choose will depend on your data collection methods and research objectives. These approaches should be determined from the outset and communicated clearly to all relevant stakeholders or partners to keep the project on track for delivering valuable insights.


Mission Translate specialises in supporting the market research sector with its global research projects. As well as translating and transcribing your research assets and responses, we also offer a full range of multilingual research services, including direct, in-language content analysis, coding, participant recruitment and moderation.


Please get in touch with our team to find out how we can tailor our solutions to meet your exact project requirements.





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