Assignment 1: Hand Coding Versus Qualitative Data Analysis Software

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

Predictive Analysis Today. (2016a). Top 15 qualitative data analysis software. Retrieved from

Predictive Analysis Today. (2016b). Top 21 free qualitative data analysis software. Retrieved from

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.

Learning Resources

Patton, M. Q. (2015). Qualitative research & evaluation methods: Integrating theory and practice (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

Rubin, H. J., & Rubin, I. S. (2012). Qualitative interviewing: The art of hearing data (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.

LaPelle, N. R. (2004). Simplifying qualitative data analysis using general purpose software tools.

Preventive and Behavioral Medicine, 16(1), 1–20.
Meyer, D Z & Avery, LM (2008). Excel as a qualitative data analysis tool. Field Methods 2009; 21; 91-112.

Smith, J. & Firth, J. (2011). Qualitative data analysis: The framework approach. Nurse Researcher, 18(2), 52-62.

Optional Resources

Saldaña, J. (2016). The coding manual for qualitative researchers (3rd ed). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE

Develop a 3-page paper describing considerations for choosing to use QDA software.

Include your responses to the following:

Please answer the following questions below:

1. Hands-on: Summarize your experience with coding using
Excel or Word.

2. Hands-on: Identify what worked well, where you
struggled, and how the process of coding evolved.

3. Research: Summarize your research on your two choices
by comparing and contrasting features.

4. Research: Describe why you chose these two versus the

5. Research: Give your experience in this course.

6. Research: What you are considering for your capstone.