Constant Comparative Analysis

This method was originally developed for the use in grounded theory methodology, and is now applied more widely as a method of analysis in qualitative research. It requires the researcher to take one piece of data (E.g. one interview, one statement or one theme) and compare it to all other pieces of data that are either similar or different. During this process, the researcher begins to look at what makes this piece of data different and/or similar to other pieces of data.

This method of analysis is inductive, as the researcher begins to examine data critically and draw new meaning from the data (rather than a deductive approach which defines at the outset what will be found).

Further Reading:

Glasser, B. (1965) 'The Constant Comparative Method of Qualitative Analysis' in Social Problems, Vol 12 No. 4.  California: University of California Press.