Data quilting: Art and science of analyzing disparate data

Murugan Anandarajan, Chelsey Hill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Motivated by incongruences between today’s complex data, problems and requirements and available methodological frameworks, we propose data quilting as a means of combining and presenting the analysis of multiple types of data to create a single cohesive deliverable. We introduce data quilting as a new analysis methodology that combines both art and science to address a research problem. Using a three-layer approach and drawing on the comparable and parallel process of quilting, we introduce and describe each layer: backing, batting and top. The backing of the data quilt is the research problem and method, which supports the upper layers. The batting of the data quilt is the data and data analysis, which adds depth and dimension to the data quilt. Finally, the top layer of the data quilt is the presentation, visualization and storytelling, which pieces together the results into a single, cohesive deliverable. For illustrative purposes, we demonstrate a data quilt analysis using a real-world example concerning identity theft.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1629095
JournalCogent Business and Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019


  • data quilting
  • mixed methods
  • research methods
  • story telling
  • text analytics
  • visual analytics


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