Computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software

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Computer Assisted/Aided Qualitative Data Analysis Software (CAQDAS) offers tools that assist with qualitative research such as transcription analysis, coding and text interpretation, recursive abstraction, content analysis, discourse analysis,[1] grounded theory methodology, etc.


CAQDAS is used in psychology, marketing research, ethnography, public health and other social sciences. The CAQDAS networking project[2] lists the following tools a CAQDAS program should have:

  • Content searching tools
  • Coding tools
  • Linking tools
  • Mapping or networking tools
  • Query tools
  • Writing and annotation tools

Comparison of CAQDAS software[edit]

Application Type License Source Last Release Analyses OS Supported Tools
Aquad Client Free - GPL Open 2017-02 Text, Audio, Video, Graphics Windows Coding, Sequence Analysis, Exploratory Data Analysis
ATLAS.ti Client Proprietary Closed 2017-05 Text Windows, macOS, iPad, Android Coding, Aggregation, Query, Visualisation
Cassandre Client Free - GPL Open 2018-01 Text All (java-based) Coding
CLAN Client Free - GPL Open 2018-04 Text Windows, macOS, Linux Coding
Coding Analysis Toolkit (CAT) Web-based Free - GPL Open 2014-06-28[3] Text All (web browser) Coding
Compendium/CompendiumNG[4] Client Free - LGPL Open 2014-02 Text All (java-based) Coding
Dedoose Web-based Proprietary Closed 2016-12 Text, Audio, Video All (web browser) Coding, Query, Visualisation, Statistical Tools
ELAN Client Free - GPL Open 2017-12-21 Video, Audio Windows, macOS, Linux Coding
HyperRESEARCH Client Proprietary Closed 2017-07-20[5] Windows, macOS
KH Coder Client Free- GPL Open 2015-12-29[6] Text Windows, Linux, macOS
MAXQDA Client Proprietary Closed 2017-12-05 Text, pictures, audio, video, webpages, social networks Windows, macOS Coding, Aggregation, Query, Visualisation, Statistical Tools
NVivo Client Proprietary Closed 2017-02 Text,video, audio, pictures, webpages Windows, macOS Coding, Aggregation, Query, Visualisation
QDA Miner Client Proprietary Closed 2016-11 Windows
QDA Miner Lite Client Proprietary Closed 2017-01-12 Text Windows Coding
Qiqqa Client Proprietary Closed 2016-09 Windows, Android
Quantitative Discourse Analysis Package (qdap) (R package) Client Free- GPL Open 2017-11[7] Text Windows, macOS, Linux Word extracting, statistical analysis, visualization
Quirkos Client Proprietary Closed 2018-07 Text Win, macOS, Linux,[8] Android Coding, Query, Visualisation
RQDA (R package) Client Free- GPL Open 2018-03[9] Text Windows, macOS, Linux Coding, Aggregation, Query, Visualisation
Transana Client GPL[10] Open 2017-11[11] Video, Audio, Text Windows, macOS Coding
XSight Client Proprietary Closed 2006 (abandoned) Windows

Pros and cons[edit]

Such software helps to organize, manage and analyse information.[12] The advantages of using this software include saving time, managing huge amounts of qualitative data, having increased flexibility, having improved validity and auditability of qualitative research, and being freed from manual and clerical tasks. Concerns include increasingly deterministic and rigid processes, privileging of coding, and retrieval methods; reification of data, increased pressure on researchers to focus on volume and breadth rather than on depth and meaning, time and energy spent learning to use computer packages, increased commercialism, and distraction from the real work of analysis.[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Paulus, Trena M.; Lester, Jessica Nina. "ATLAS.ti for conversation and discourse analysis studies". International Journal of Social Research Methodology. 19 (4): 405–428. doi:10.1080/13645579.2015.1021949. 
  2. ^ "CAQDAS". Retrieved 28 November 2011. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "CompendiumNG website". Retrieved 22 February 2017. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ "KH Coder download site". Retrieved 11 March 2017. 
  7. ^ "qdap GitHub website". Retrieved 18 February 2017. 
  8. ^ "Quirkos for Linux". Retrieved 11 September 2015. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Transana website". Retrieved 2 February 2016. 
  11. ^ "Transana website". Retrieved 19 May 2017. 
  12. ^ Banner, DJ; Albarrran, JW (2009). "Computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software: a review". Canadian Journal of Cardiovascular Nursing. 19 (3): 24–31. PMID 19694114. 
  13. ^ St John, W; Johnson, P (2000). "The pros and cons of data analysis software for qualitative research". Journal of Nursing Scholarship. 32 (4): 393–7. PMID 11140204. 

External links[edit]