In order for me to determine how data mining could assist me in triangulating my research findings, I needed to define the terms “data mining” and “triangulation” in regards to research. I found that data mining “is the process of discovering interesting knowledge, such as patterns, associations, changes, anomalies and significant structures, from large amounts of data stored” (Han, n.d.). I also found this description of triangulation, “known as ‘mixed method’ research, triangulation is the act of combining several research methods to study one thing. They overlap each other somewhat, being complimentary at times, contrary at others. This has the effect of balancing each method out and giving a richer and hopefully truer account” (Kennedy, 2009). However, I think that what will apply to me the most is that I can use documents and artifacts from other sources or ones that I created myself in my research (Merriam & Tisdell, 2016).
So, data mining can assist me in triangulating my research findings because I can use documents and artifacts that I generated before and during my research. I can also use data from other sources if I find that it is relevant to my research. Personally, I am not sure that I would find a lot of data online, but it’s something to think about looking into and searching for online. Last spring, when I did research, I had a really hard time putting it together into a concept map. I naturally think towards numbers and percentages. That is how my mind finds trends. This week, as I was searching online about data mining, I found a paper about using software called Leximancer. According to Kivunja (2013), “Leximancer can be used to mine large amounts of qualitative textual documents, extract information at super-electronic speeds and display the results visually in a graphic organizer of the contents generally called a Concept Map.” I checked out the Leximancer website and found that for just one month, it costs $150 (Leximancer, n.d.). I could try for a free trial, but I am not sure I’d be approved. I did like the idea of it though and it would make data mining and triangulating my research a lot faster and easier for me.
Han, J. (n.d.). What is Data Mining. Retrieved October 22, 2015, from Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, Database Systems : http://hanj.cs.illinois.edu/pdf/ency99.pdf
Kennedy, P. (2009, August 20). How to combine multiple research methods: Practical Triangulation. Retrieved October 22, 2015, from Johnny Holland: http://johnnyholland.org/2009/08/practical-triangulation/
Kivunja, C. (2013, March). Qualitative Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery Using Leximancer Digital Software. Retrieved October 23, 2015, from Lecture Notes on Information Theory: http://www.lnit.org/uploadfile/2013/0506/20130506014945610.pdf
Leximancer. (n.d.). Leximancer Academic Products. Retrieved October 23, 2015, from Leximancer: http://info.leximancer.com/academic/
Merriam, S. B., & Tisdell, E. J. (2016). Qualitative Research: A Guide to Design and Implementation. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.