What Story do the Data Tell?


Designer Francesca Sterpone worked with researcher  Flora CornishMethodology Department to create this short animation that visualises the coding and analytical process of qualitative data.


The Research 

Flora says ‘Community organisations involved in HIV prevention play a key role in building alliances with other groups (such as politicians, police, local clubs, journalists) to ensure that communities vulnerable to HIV/AIDS are not marginalized.  In this research, we looked at  the strategies used by Indian sex workers to win local support for their HIV prevention programmes. We found that Indian sex work community organisations use 3 strategies to build beneficial connections with other local groups: 1) persuasion 2) Protests 3) Exchange of favours.

Based on this research, I wanted to visualise the analytical process that helped us find our story for teaching purposes.  The analytical process of qualitative data is often messy and non-linear and students have trouble understanding the process of analysing the data, finding connections between the different themes and  using these themes to inform and expand the existent literature.’


Design by Francesca Sterpone, MA Graphic Branding and Identity

Fransesca says  ‘Based on Flora’s research on Indian sex workers, the aim was to visualise the thinking process that helps researchers to find the story behind qualitative data, what are the steps to find connections between different themes. I started by figuring out the graphic aspect of the data and to represent them in meaningful ways.The colours relate to the Indian culture and have been used to distinguish between the different strategies. The video explains the process from the big amount of data to the final themes. The different stages of the coding process make up the storyboard. I used only typography to represent the data because the concepts are abstract and it is easier to visualise them as words rather as images.

I revised the first version of the film because the colours and typeface I used are not clear and communicative and the music does not relate to the Indian culture’.

Fransesca explains her design process in this short video