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Glossary » analytic memo

analytic memo

a brief note used during the coding and construction of data that summarizes a possible interpretation or analysis of the data. Memos help to remember particular analyses and focus future data collection and coding to explore ideas in the memos.

Analytic memos are used most often in qualitative observational approaches, such as ethnography or contextual inquiry, but they can be useful in the process of essentially any type of research. Some other types of memos may also be considered, though the boundaries between them blend: a “theoretical memo” considers possible theories that the data may support; an “integrative memo” seeks to identify relations between different pieces of data.