This is part 5 of a 7 part series about software and internet resources for research. Part 1, “Inspiration for an Idea,” can be found here and part 2, “Literature Review,” can be found here, part 3, “Research,” can be found here, and part 4, “Transcription”, can be found here.
For now, I only have to software recommendations for analysis. I use Atlas.ti for coding interviews – this doesn’t cover the “analysis” part per sey, with Atlas.ti you still do the actual analysis, but the codes make it easier. Atlas.ti is not free, it’s $175 for a student copy and it’s only compatible with Windows. There is a free demo version available, and I have used this for one project. Once you get into big amounts of data the free demo is useless because it limits the amount of codes you can use. Regardless of this, I do like Atlas.ti because it is somewhat easy to use once you get the hang out if and you are able to run a lot of useful reports once the documents are coded.
For quantitative data I’ve used SPSS. SPSS is not free, but it is compatible with both Mac and PC. You can purchase a student version for under $150. ((if you buy it on Amazon make sure you buy a NEW copy because the license can only be used twice)) I’m not particularly found of SPSS, but I think it has more to do with my dislike for quantitative data than the actual program 😉
During analysis, I began (sometimes continue) to make notes of themes, hunches, etc. At this point I’m usually writing things out by hand and then I type it up. Wikis, mind maps, and plain old text files are useful at this stage.