A case study is an up-close, in-depth and detailed examination of a subject of study (the case). The case may be:
- An individual. How does an expert in the field work when solving some problems?
- A company. How does the company deal with for example software requirements?
- An event. For example how a security breach in an organization’s IT systems is handled.
- An action. A typical example is usability tests on a piece of software.
Data can be collected from multiple sources such as observations, interviews, reading the documentation, analyzing test logs, etc. The collected data is analyzed to draw conclusions about the case.
Case studies are typically carried out in natural settings, not in a lab. The natural setting can be at a company, in a classroom, out in the field, etc. It depends on the case and target group.