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Perform Qualitative Data Analysis

DiRT (Digital Research Tools) has a new home! Please visit Bamboo DiRT to explore this excellent collection of research tools.

Definition: 

These programs enable the researcher to take "a qualitative approach to qualitative data. A qualitative approach is one where there is a need to interpret data through the identification and possibly coding of themes, concepts, processes, contexts, etc., in order to build explanations or theories or to test or enlarge on a theory." (Ann Lewins & Christina Silver, Choosing a CAQDAS Package, July 2006)

 

 

Tools:

 

  • AnSWR: "a software system for coordinating and conducting large-scale, team-based analysis projects that integrate qualitative and quantitative techniques" (Free, Windows)
  • ANTHROPAC: "a menu-driven DOS program for collecting and analyzing data on cultural domains. The program helps collect and analyze structured qualitative and quantitative data including freelists, pilesorts, triads, paired comparisons, and ratings. ANTHROPAC's analytical tools include techniques that are unique to Anthropology, such as consensus analysis, as well as standard multivariate tools such as multiple regression, factor analysis, cluster analysis, multidimensional scaling and correspondence analysis." (Commercial, Windows)
  • ATLAS.ti: "workbench for the qualitative analysis of large bodies of textual, graphical, audio and video data.  It offers a variety of tools for accomplishing the tasks associated with any systematic approach to unstructured data, e.g., data that cannot be meaningfully analyzed by formal, statistical approaches." (Commercial; Windows XP or Vista, can only be run on a Mac through Windows-simulation software)

  • CDC EZ-Text: "a software program developed to assist researchers create, manage, and analyze semi-structured qualitative databases...The ability to export and import the codebook helps to coordinate the efforts of multiple coders simultaneously working with copies of the same database file." (Free, Windows)
  • C-I-Said: "offers a set of unique features which allow the depth of analysis, normally associated with a programme dedicated to qualitative analysis, within an analytic framework which is quantitative in orientation. Thus open ended coding, using comments and textual annotations, is accompanied by rating scales that can be categorical or numerical in format." (Commercial, Windows)
  • Coding Analysis Toolkit (or “CAT”): a "suite of tools custom built from the ground-up to facilitate efficient and effective analysis of text datasets that have been coded using an internal coding module or the commercial-off-the-shelf package ATLAS.ti" (Free, web-based)
  • Event Structure Analysis: " an on-line Java program that helps you analyze sequential events." (Free; web-based, with download available)
  • HyperResearch: "qualitative data analysis software package enabling you to code and retrieve, build theories, and conduct analyses of your data. Now with advanced multimedia capabilities, HyperRESEARCH allows you to work with text, graphics, audio, and video sources" (Commercial, Windows/Mac)
  • Kwalitan: "takes care of an efficient storage of the data and offers several features to analyse the qualitative material, like coding, retrieving, categorisation of codes, overviews of codes or words in the text, keywords in context and writing memos" (Commercial, Windows)
  • LIWC:  "Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC) is a text analysis software program... LIWC is able to calculate the degree to which people use different categories of words across a wide array of texts...to provide an efficient and effective method for studying the various emotional, cognitive, and structural components present in individuals’ verbal and written speech samples" (Commercial, with free and limited web analysis available; Windows/Mac)
  • MAXQDA: a tool for qualitative data analysis, evaluation, and text analysis: "supports all individuals performing qualitative data analysis and helps to systematically evaluate and interpret texts...also a powerful tool for developing theories and testing the theoretical conclusions of the analysis" (Commercial, Windows)
  • NVivo: software which "removes many of the manual tasks associated with analysis, like classifying, sorting and arranging information, so you have more time to explore trends, build and test theories and ultimately arrive at answers to questions." (Commercial, Windows)
  • Porphyry: "a desktop client for qualitative analysis of images and qualitative analysis of texts."(Cross platform, Open Source)
  • QDA Miner: a "mixed-model qualitative data analysis software package for coding, annotating, retrieving and analyzing small and large collections of documents and images." (Commercial, Windows)
  • Qualrus: "qualitative data analysis tool that helps you manage unstructured data. Use it to analyze videos of interviews, organize field notes, categorize paintings or photographs, measure survey responses and much more.." (Commercial; Windows, Mac or Linux with virtual Windows environment)
  • SEASR: tools & frameworks for sharing data and research (including data analysis) in virtual work environments (Free; open source, Windows/Mac/Linux)
  • TAMS Analyzer: "an open source qualitative package for the analysis of textual themes. It can be used for transcribing digital media and for conducting discourse analysis in the social and cultural sciences." (Free, Mac/GnuStep)
  • Transana: a "software for professional researchers who want to analyze digital video or audio data. Transana lets you analyze and manage your data in very sophisticated ways. Transcribe it, identify analytically interesting clips, assign keywords to clips, arrange and rearrange clips, create complex collections of interrelated clips, explore relationships between applied keywords, and share your analysis with colleagues." (Commercial; open source, Windows/Mac)
  • Weft QDA [Review]: "an easy-to-use tool to assist in the analysis of textual data such as interview transcripts, written texts and fieldnotes" (Free, Windows/Linux)

 

Resources:

  • American Evaluation Association, Qualitative Software

  • caqdas Networking Project: Provides "practical support, training and information in the use of a range of software programs designed to assist qualitative data analysis."

  • Google Directory Listing of Qualitative Research Tools

  • Online QDA: "a set of training support materials which address common problems (both early and advanced) of using Qualitative Data Analysis (QDA) methods and selected Computer Assisted Qualitative Data AnalysiS (CAQDAS) packages"

  • QDA Software: Prof. James W. Drisko's rich discussion of resources for conducting qualitative research

     

See also:

 

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