It is not uncommon for qualitative researchers to spend the first phase of analysis hand-coding, text coding, or spreadsheet coding before turning to qualitative data analysis (QDA) software. Modern software packages offer efficient ways to organize and code data electronically, and to visualize the patterns in codes and categories. Of course, no software package takes the place of immersion in the data and the intensive effortful work needed to illuminate the essence of the phenomenon as your participants describe it.
In this week’s Assignment, you will research QDA software and compare what you have experienced using Excel or Word to what the software offers.
Search the Internet to find examples of QDA software. These can include free versions as well as proprietary purchased applications. Note that some applications indicate they are a good fit for certain qualitative approaches.
The following are websites where you may find examples:
Boston University. (n.d.). Qualitative data analysis software comparison. Retrieved December 17, 2016, from https://www.bu.edu/tech/services/support/desktop/distribution/nvivo/comparison/
Predictive Analysis Today. (2016a). Top 15 qualitative data analysis software. Retrieved from http://www.predictiveanalyticstoday.com/top-qualitative-data-analysis-software/
Predictive Analysis Today. (2016b). Top 21 free qualitative data analysis software. Retrieved from http://www.predictiveanalyticstoday.com/top-free-qualitative-data-analysis-software/
Choose two examples of QDA software to investigate. Go to their respective websites and explore the FAQs, demos, customer feedback, and other resources that inform you about their capabilities and limitations.
Develop a 3- to 5-page paper describing considerations for choosing to use QDA software. Include your responses to the following:
Hands-on: Summarize your experience with coding using Excel or Word. Identify what worked well, where you struggled, and how the process of coding evolved.
Research: Summarize your research on your two choices by comparing and contrasting features. Describe why you chose these two versus the others and, given your experience in this course, what you are considering for your capstone.