I know this may be a very niche area, but does anyone have any cool workflows for managing qualitative data / conducting qualitative research.
That’s an interesting link, and I like the author’s additional links to tips/tricks. I think in outline form so I start writing anything more than a page long either in list in a text processor or inside an outliner app, but if I have a morass of notes I’ll use the ‘reverse outline’ tip he discusses to break down masses of notes into titled idea silos that can be maneuvered and massaged, broken down, re-edited and recompiled.
I love all of Raul’s workflows, he’s a researcher after my own heart
I use Nvivo for interview analysis. It’s an incredible application that really is unbeatable, although it’s not cheap. It has automatic transcription of interviews (for a yearly price) which is so accurate that I no longer need to pay someone for this. It even works well with poor quality recordings, which is an amazing achievement. For surveys I find Google Forms excellent, as the reports save a lot of time and effort.
I find Apple Pencil and GoodNotes fantastic for doing observations, no more losing notes and everything is instantly searchable.
I keep everything in a research database in DEVONthink, including all background research and references. While reading the automatic suggestions often help me link parts of the research, including research from old projects.
Thanks, Rob, I need to look back into Nvivo’s transcribing feature. It is pretty steep at $500 USD, but worth it for unlimited transcription. I’ll probably wait for a larger project before forking those funds over. I do have a small grant I need to spend by the end of the year. I wonder if I can prepay for several years.
I tried Dedoose and it was a pretty bad experience. The cloud features sounded great, but it was a very buggy experience. They still use flash and it’s a pretty laggy experience. Sometimes we couldn’t even log in.
@bowline, I used the reverse outline format recently to reorganize a paper. It worked out great!
Part of what spurred this question was my recent decision to use method journals. A kind of qualitative journal you keep per project. I currently have my lab members each submit “status updates” every Friday. This was originally to keep track of what everyone did each week. I want to move towards creating a space where students can reflect on their insights, bring in quotes from the data, bring in readings, and begin the writing process (by writing memos) early on.
I’m puzzling over the best way to organize the lab journals. I currently have 8 projects. Do I create a lab journal per project? Does each student have their own? I’m realizing it’s going to create more work for me since I’ll also have to give them feedback (or do I?). I could see if I can create lab journals in basecamp.
If I had it to do over, I’d probably get Nvivo instead of MaxQDA. MaxQDA has some features Nvivo doesn’t but it relies on a cross-platform PDF library and other non-native Mac elements that can be a real pain to use, especially when you’re spending long hours coding.
Notability’s ability to match recording with the notes you took has been great for qual.
Sometimes I’ll pull everything into mindnode where I can start dragging and dropping notes into a collection of themes/learnings.