Qualitative Data Analysis Software (nVivo, Atlas.TI, and more)
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Contact us, JHU Data Services for assistance with access to nVivo and ATLAS.ti at the Data Services offices on A level, JHU Eisenhower Library.
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Qualitative Data Analysis Software (QDAS) overview
Qualitative research has benefited from a range of software tools facilitating most qualitative methodological techniques, particularly those involving multimedia digital data. These guides focus on two major QDAS products, nVivo and ATLAS.ti. Both programs can be found on the workstations at the Data Services computer lab on A-level, Eisenhower Library, and nVivo is available through JHU's SAFE Desktop. This guide also lists other QDA software and linked resources.
Many university libraries have produced comprehensive guides on nVivo, ATLAS.ti, and other QDA software, to which we will provide links with our gratitude
Schmider, Christian. n.d. What Qualitative Data Analysis Software Can and Can’t Do for You – an Intro Video. MERIT Library at the School of Education: School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison. Accessed January 7, 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tLKfaCiHVic.
Choosing QDA Software
Qualitative Data Analysis (QDA) Software supports a variety of qualitative techniques and methodologies
Qualitative techniques supported by QDAS
- Coding and Classifying
- Writing: analysis, description, memos
- Relating: finding and annotating connections, relationships, patterns
- Audio/Visual analysis: marking, clipping, transcribing, annotating
- Text mining: computer-aided discovery in large amounts of unstructured text
- Visualization: diagramming, relationship and network patterns, quantitative summary
QDAS supported methodologies
- Case studies
- Grounded theory/ phenomenology
- Discourse/narrative analysis
- Sociolinguistic analysis
- Collaborative qualitative research
- Text analysis & text mining
Overview of qualitative methods from ATLAS.ti: https://atlasti.com/qualitative-research-methods/
Decision factors for your research
- Methods to feature facilitation (in disciplinary context): How many features directly support your methodology?
- Interface for collection, analysis, reports: Do features accommodate most phases of your research workflow?
- Visualization and outputs: Does it produce and successfully export needed visualization without extensive modification?
- Cost and access to software: Is it worth the investment cost as well as in learning to use it? Look for education discounts.
Software Comparisons: Commercial & Free. (George Mason University)Lists of flagship software, free software, and tools for converting codebooks among QDA software.
QDA Software Comparison Chart (NYU Libraries)Comparison chart of QDA software from NYU Library's LibGuide
Top 14 Qualitative Data Analysis SoftwareGuide with descriptive summaries of the main QDA software, several with business focus.
Dueling CAQDAS using ATLAS.ti and NVivoWebinar comparing features and use of ATLAS.ti and NVIvo for qualitative data analysis. Includes live demos.
Core QDAS functions
Basic functions common to most QDA programs, and to NVivo and ATLAS.ti in particular:
- Application of a maintained set of terms and short phrases linked to segments of text or audio/video that can be queried and gathered for comparative analysis.
- Longer narrative notes attached to text or a/v segments, or to codes
- Navigation / queries
- Quick access to codes and segments that can be brought together in panel views for comparison, advanced Boolean search options, and flexible interlinking of segments, codes, and annotation
- Most QDAS facilitates transcribing audio and video, ideally maintaining the links between transcript and A/V segments.
- Gathering codes, segments, and annotations facilitates pattern discovery and further description of relationships. Some QDAS support social network analysis techniques and visualization
- Reporting / collating
- A range of reports using queries and filters to assemble data and annotations facilitates analysis and writing results.
- Typically includes code tables, social network graphs, and annotated A/V clips.
- Shared access to data & analysis, facilitating comments and discussion, and tracking contributor actions and changes.