Analysis is a logical process represented by “P” implies “Q.”

The statement “p implies q” means that if p is true, then q must also be true.

The statement “p implies q ” is also written “if p then q” or sometimes “q if p.”

Statement p is called the “premise of the implication” (or hypothesis) and q is called the “conclusion.”

If “P” is true, then “Q” is likely to be true; if “P” is not true, the “Q” can either true OR not true. Another alternative in plain English is: “P implies Q” means “If P holds then Q must hold, too. If not, Q can be whatever.”

So, in plain English, we want our “P’s” to be TRUE so that our “Q’s” will be true.

In a field study, “P” represents FINDINGS, and “Q” represents CONCLUSIONS.

Accordingly, in a Field Study we want the FINDINGS to be true, and since findings are based on FACTS, we want the facts to be true. (That’s the reason we take such care to in gathering the data, conducting careful interviews from prepared interview guides that deal with the issues we are addressing, take careful notes during the interview process, and summarize each interview immediately after it has been conducted.)

So a Field Study,

  • DATA comes from the data collection process (interviews);
  • FACTS come from a careful analysis of the DATA;
  • FINDINGS come from a careful examination of the FACTS;
  • CONCLUSIONS are drawn from the findings;
  • RECOMMENDATIONS are built from the conclusions.

The process is very straightforward and may sound rather simple, but the process can be rather painstaking and will oftentimes stretch the mind of the student.

BUT – that in itself is the value of doing a Field Study!  It’s CRITICAL THINKING!

In general, in order to understand the Field Study analytical process, the student needs to look at what the client wants to have accomplished:

  • The client expects the team to interview several customers and seek their views about issues important to the client;
  • The client expect the team to do some quality thinking about what they have learned while spending considerable time conducting these interviews;
  • The client expects the team to spend quality time drawing conclusions about what they have found relative to the issues of concern to the client;
  • The client expects the team to think about what can be DONE – what realistic action steps can be taken to address conclusions reached;
  • The client expects the team to communicate what should be done in a clear and persuasive manner based on solid findings and conclusion;
  • Put simply, the client expects the Field Study to be done well and to provide him/her with a benefit.

So let’s see how the students conducted their analysis of their data collected for the Wheaton Medical Clinic.