Computer assisted data analysis
What is computer assisted data analysis?
Researchers can use computer assisted data analysis to facilitate traditional research approaches. The advantage is that a software allows for more efficient and effective work processes. Many researchers have realized this, and the developers of data analysis software strive to improve their software programs every day.
The first version of MAXQDA was developed as early as 1989, which makes it one of the pioneer software programs in the field of qualitative data analysis. MAXQDA is based on traditional methods of analysis, such as qualitative content analysis, Grounded Theory, discourse analysis, etc. Its central elements are the systematic assignment (“coding”) of text segments to themes (“codes”) and the possibility of making notes of ideas and associations (“memos”). Since its first release, MAXQDA has used the established terminology of qualitative research, which has contributed to the software’s intuitive handling. Its personalized memo manager makes MAXQDA an ideal software tool for knowledge management.
Qualitative Data Analysis Software (QDA Software)
Qualitative data analysis is always based on a specific analytical approach. Whatever approach a researcher chooses, the software supports and facilitates the process of sorting, structuring, and analyzing data material. Nowadays, there are few researchers left who rely on only index cards, ten different highlighters, and tons of paper to structure their data.
At the same time, video and audio recordings are becoming more and more important, and putting them down on paper can take up a lot of time. Sophisticated data analysis software allows for importing audio and video files and transcribing these recordings directly in the program. In addition, qualitative data analysis software supports the entire analytic process by visualizing relationships and providing overviews. It also permits the addition of notes (so-called memos), which help other researchers understand the various analytical steps. By using automatic processes to visualize data material, QDA software supports the researcher’s steps towards gaining critical insight.
Software for Qualitative Data Analysis
QDA software serves to provide insights into qualitative data sets without suggesting interpretations. Based on a content analysis, the researcher can draw conclusions about the respective object of research (e.g. interview data). Software tools for qualitative data and text analysis allow for easy sorting, structuring, and analyzing of large amounts of text or other data and facilitate the management of the resulting interpretations and evaluations.
In MAXQDA, this can be done by sorting materials into groups, using a hierarchical coding system, defining variables, providing tabular overviews, and assigning colors and weights to text segments. Furthermore, every step of the process can be easily tracked, and results can be accessed with just a few clicks. QDA software is used in many academic fields, such as sociology, psychology, political science, medicine, and educational science, and it is also a popular tool for businesses and market researchers.