Finding my Findings: Swimming in Thesis Data

Jasmine Duran ’15

September 2014- I have begun to analyze my raw data and I have been lost in my findings. I have collected data in survey form, content analysis of news stories, and interview sessions. I am somewhat overwhelmed with all this information and seem very nervous if I have been seeking the correct information. All this data will accumulate to support a theory on the need to prepare museum communicators for crisis situations. I will use this data to create a handbook to encourage and enforce museum communicators to collaborate with media professionals.

Figure 1


I have just begun to analyze my survey results. These results have been difficult to code, but I have been working through the open-ended questions to fit with my thesis goals. I find that through this evaluation I am constantly learning new public perceptions and the way people receive their news. One of the major ways people receive their news, I have not been investigating. I will now dedicate more of my time understanding word-of-mouth and social media news.

Figure 2
My story content analysis has been teaching me to understand the media angle of a story. I have been working in my Politics and the Media class to develop knowledge on story structure and framing. I have developed an analysis form (Figure 3) so museum communicators can understand where a story can be impacted; whether it be pictures or negative words.
My raw data from interviews has been successful and I am already lining up more interviews in the next week. I was successful in interviewing a museum communication professional new to the crisis planning process. My next interview will be with an experienced communicator who has been in the field for over 20 years and has had experience in crisis planning with three different museums. I intend to interview a media professional soon, when time is convenient. Once I compare the two, I will have emerging findings on the different advice to consider while writing my conclusions and best practices handbook.

Hopefully these findings will help me find my thesis again amidst the roaring high seas of data. Key evidence will enable smooth sailing into my prospective future in museum communication.