Software for data analysis in research is an involved topic. The main packages used are NIivo, Atlas.ti, Dedoose, and MAXQDA. The level of skill and dedication required to utilize these software packages remains elusive for many clients. This level of knowledge has many clients unsure on how to approach their analysis. Optimum Research has put together an information page to help explain the various packages to help clarify which are best suited for an individual’s needs. Some clients need a broader support for their Analysis and Findings, while others can utilize Optimum for simpler data coding. The level of support is dictated by the needs of our clients.
NVivo is a qualitative data analysis (QDA) computer software package produced by QSR International. It has been designed for qualitative researchers working with very rich text-based and/or multimedia information, where deep levels of analysis on small or large volumes of data are required.
NVivo is intended to help users organize and analyze non-numerical or unstructured data. The software allows users to classify, sort and arrange information; examine relationships in the data; and combine analysis with linking, shaping, searching and modeling.
The researcher or analyst can test theories, identify trends and cross-examine information in a multitude of ways using its search engine and query functions. They can make observations in the software and build a body of evidence to support their case or project.
NVivo accommodates a wide range of research methods, including network and organizational analysis, action or evidence-based research, discourse analysis, grounded theory, conversation analysis, ethnography, literature reviews, phenomenology, mixed methods research and the Framework methodology. NVivo supports data formats such as audio files, videos, digital photos, Word, PDF, spreadsheets, rich text, plain text and web and social media data. Users can interchange data with applications like Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, IBM SPSS Statistics, EndNote, Microsoft OneNote, SurveyMonkey and Evernote; and order transcripts from within NVivo projects, using TranscribeMe.
The purpose of ATLAS.ti is to help researchers uncover and systematically analyze complex phenomena hidden in unstructured data (text, multimedia, geospatial). The program provides tools that let the user locate, code, and annotate findings in primary data material, to weigh and evaluate their importance, and to visualize the often complex relations between them.
ATLAS.ti is used by researchers and practitioners in a wide variety of fields including anthropology, arts, architecture, communication, criminology, economics, educational sciences, engineering, ethnological studies, management studies, market research, quality management, psychology and sociology.
ATLAS.ti consolidates large volumes of documents and keeps track of all notes, annotations, codes and memos in all fields that require close study and analysis of primary material consisting of text, images, audio, video, and geo data.
In addition, it provides analytical and visualization tools designed to open new interpretative views on the material.
To support multi-method multi-user projects across space and time (longitudinal studies), project data export using XML is available. With XML, the proprietary nature of most software systems can be mitigated. This is indeed a mandatory requirement in scientific settings. ATLAS.ti’s XML schema influenced the development of the QuDEX language at University of Essex.
Dedoose is a web application for mixed methods research developed by academics from UCLA, with support from the William T. Grant Foundation, and is the successor to EthnoNotes.
Dedoose is designed, developed, and operated by SocioCultural Research Consultants (SCRC), whose majority of ownership (i.e. 2 people) consists of academics from UCLA.
Dedoose is an alternative to other qualitative data analysis software, explicitly aimed at facilitating rigorous mixed methods research. It is used by researchers funded by the William T. Grant Foundation, including among those in its Faculty Scholars Program. Dedoose and EthnoNotes have gained recognition for their integration of qualitative and quantitative data analysis methods in combination with interactive data visualizations. The Dedoose family of tools have been used in a wide variety of studies in many industries from medical, market research, social policy research, and other academic social science research
MAXQDA is a software program designed for computer-assisted qualitative and mixed methods data, text and multimedia analysis in academic, scientific, and business institutions. It is being developed and distributed by VERBI Software based in Berlin, Germany.
MAXQDA is designed for the use in qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods research. The emphasis on going beyond qualitative research can be observed in the extensive attributes function (called variables in the program itself) and the ability of the program to deal relatively quickly with larger numbers of interviews.
|Software model||PC, future web||PC||Web||PC|
|Customer support availability||High||Low||Medium||Medium|
|Estimated Size of current user base||Large||Large||Small||Medium|
|Mac compatibility||Through proxy||Limited functionality||Limited functionality||Yes|
|Free trial offered||30 days||With limited function||30 days||14 days|