Ethnography: Resources Required

The amount of resources, namely time, financial and human resources, needed to do ethnographic data collection and analysis will depend on a number of factors. Key considerations include:

  • Research question and scope of field of inquiry
  • Availability of trained data collectors and barriers to building trust
  • Research design, either one-off deep analysis or analysis of factors over time
  • Level and type of analysis
  • Access to software and electronic means of data collection

At the very basic level, ethnographic research requires sufficient amounts of paper, writing materials, and translators or knowledge of the language. However, in recent years, ethnographers are observing and recording their data using audio and audio-visual technologies that are easily available as apps on any smartphones or tablets. These recording are then transcribed using human or software expertise, and then analyzed for patterns and trends, depending on the research question asked.


Some key software for ethnographic research and analysis:

Social Network Analysis

  • Visone
  • Gephi
  • SocNetV
  • Pajek

Quantitative Analysis

  • SAS
  • Stata
  • R

Qualitative Analysis

  • Dedoose
  • R