As far as possible, outputs of focus group discussions (FGDs) should be verbatim records. The notes taken by the recorder (a person) should be compared to a recording of the discussion. The recorder and moderator should agree on a final transcript. The transcripts (from multiple FGDs) should provide the material for systematic analysis.

FGD analysis will typically address a number of specific research topics and sub-topics, such as eliciting additional topics of local concern, which can be used to define the broad domains for analysis. These can be sub-divided further into themes, sub-themes, etc. and allocated systematic codes.

The initial descriptive analysis should also capture: (i) most common themes mentioned; (ii) less common themes; (iii) common associations between themes; and (iv) similarities and differences between sub groups.