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Coding Qualitative Data

A friend of mine recently pointed me towards MAXQDA for coding and parsing qualitative research. Too bad I just wrote a post on how garden-variety relational databases could be hornswoggled for the task. I was so proud of my handwritten beta, too….

A couple of quick web searches turned up NVivo and XSight, by QSR, QDA Miner by Provalis, and Atlas.ti. TAMS for Mac OSX may be the most honestly titleds: text analysis markup system.

And sure enough someone has been on the free and open source (FOSS) track. Weft QDA. Dexter. Transana.

  • UPDATE: The CDC (United States) publishes AnSWR at zero cost.

And a review site or two for multi-methods CAQDAS research tools. Clearly I have some reading to do.

  • UPDATE: There are a multitude of review sites, often hosted at university social science departments (e.g., sociology, ethnography, psychology), too many to list here and I’m not sure how to categorize them.

Please comment if you have worked with these packages and can recommend a way of organizing them by functionality and quality. There does not seem to be a single standard for what the packages ought to do, and how to do it well.

About Ben Mazzotta

Ben Mazzotta is a postdoc at the Center for Emerging Market Enterprises (CEME). His study of the Cost of Cash is part of CEME's research into inclusive growth.


3 thoughts on “Coding Qualitative Data

  1. I have work with several of them in my carreer. Nvivo is the leading software but is poorly written (freezes a lot). I try to use it as less as I can (only when I do consulting for people still using it). I never liked Altas.ti. IMHO, its interface is not intuitive. MaxQDA is a fine tool, easier and simpler than those other two, but my preferred one is QDA Miner, also easy to learn and easy to use. It can handle a much larger number of documents without freezing or slowing down like the other ones. It is also packed with amazing exploratory graphics and tools. And if you have a lot of documents to analyze, make sure you try their Wordstat module. The learning curve is steeper, but the software is truely amazing! It will analyze a large of text in seconds, find themes and patterns, differences in time or between sources.

    Posted by IRob | September 1, 2009, 7:35 am


  1. Pingback: Coding Qualitative Data: Web Solution « Ben Mazzotta’s Weblog - November 17, 2009

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August 2009
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