Field Data Analysis & Synthesis, Analysis Tools – Customisation to Solve Complex Challenges When would you do it and How?
Solving complex challenges requires one to be resourceful and innovate. Hence, there is no one track way of attacking these challenges, thus the need for customization arises.
I feel after understanding, synthesizing and condensing data/information it should be represented in a coherent and easy to understand manner. For this info graphics is a great tool. I attempted designing a simple info graphic for the qualitative data that was collected from the field visit to the flower market. This slide is from the introduction and it is just setting the scene of the market. This image gives an idea of the time the investigation happened, the number of shops that were doing business then and the peak business hours of the market.
For in depth qualitative analysis of an individual the Mental Models work best. For instance (a sample research thesis I have created for my own purpose) if we are researching why DTC bus drivers in Delhi tend to be rash drivers and are looking at their daily lives, then mental models are perfect.
Then obviously DTC bus drivers are not working in silos and interact with numerous people throughout the day. These interactions will directly or indirectly influence the working and behavior of the drivers. These interactions can be mapped by using Discourse Analysis and Power Dynamics. These tools will highlight the different levels of interactions and even show the different degrees of freedom between the drivers and people they interact with. Since such an example is looking at behavior clubbed with numerous dynamic ecosystems it will directly lead us to system dynamics. This may introduce a level of complexity but will assist us in giving an indepth comprehensive solution. A simple tabulation can be used if a link between living standards, salaries, benefits and behavior of drivers has to be established.
Hence, to solve any complex challenge a customization of Analysis Tools is a necessity. The tools can either combined in their original form to create a whole which is greater than their sums.Or depending on the task at hand the researchers and analysts can create new tools either by modifying existing ones or by being creative and inventing new tools, specific to solve the challenges in their problem.