Integration: What is the Data Saying?


  • To see relationships between variables
  • To negotiate different ideas about how to interpret research findings
  • To arrive at group consensus about “the story of the findings”


  • “What is the Data Saying?” handout (1 per participant)

Prepare Before

Posters from the Triangulation lesson plan should be displayed along with any supporting visual aids (e.g., charts, drawings, collections of photographs, surveys, etc.). Your group’s original research model should be hung on the wall.

Warm Up

Allow participants 5-10 minutes to review the posters from the previous lesson and the materials throughout the room.


Divide into groups.  Each group should complete the “What is the Data Saying?” handout by using the information displayed on the posters.  Use the posters to guide you.  Make sure your statements are backed up by the evidence you have gathered.


This section is the most important part and might take a while.  You are trying to get to a consensus about the results and what their story is.  Use these questions (and others) to guide you to get there.

  • Do you agree with the results displayed for each domain?
  • What are those results?  Is anything missing?  Should anything else be included?  Should anything be removed from the display?
  • What do you think is the relationship between the first cause and the issue?
  • What is the relationship between each of the summary points in the first cause and the issue?
  • What about the next cause and the issue?  And the next?
  • Is there any relationship between the first cause and the second?  Do we have any data to tell us if there is a relationship?  What about the next cause?  And the next?
  • What do you think these relationships mean?  What would you say is the main result of this work?  What do the results tell us?  What is our story?


Integration means bringing together different data sources to create a picture of the research findings.  The different findings from different ways of collecting data can be thought of as pieces of a puzzle. When all the pieces are put together, or integrated, we have a complete puzzle. Even though we have a complete puzzle, however, we might not know what the picture means.

As we integrate information we are testing our major hypotheses connecting the cause and the issue variable domains.

The final step in data analysis is interpretation.


In groups, brainstorm a response to the following question on a large sheet of poster paper:

What do the results tell us about what we can do about the problem we chose?

There are probably many things we can do to improve this situation.  At this point, do not worry if it is feasible or practical or realistic.  Based on the results, what are some of the solutions that might work.  Use your paper to illustrate 3-5 potential solutions, based on the data you’ve seen.

Prepare to present and explain your solutions.   Each group will report out.