Software to organise qualitative research


Help Please! I am doing a phenomenological study. In stage one I have used Focus groups.
I have just completed transcribing my focus groups and want to use software to organise these rather than the scissors and paper approach.
I have down loaded a trial copy of AtlasTi - it seems pretty good, but was worried N-Vivo seems more widely used - any advice?


Hi Michelle,

I am afraid I do not know the systems you mentioned yet have often heared the term "Ethnograph", although not used that myself.

I am also going to use focus groups. How did the transcribing go?


i've just started using atlas.ti and it seems to be fine so far. i think NVivo and atlas.ti and Alceste for that matter don't do the exact same things, so you should check them out not for how many people use them - but for what you want to do with them.


Thanks for replies. I was thrilled to find this forum.. I don't feel so lonely anymore!

I have down loaded both on trial - and NVivo looks slicker but has a bit of a 'quantitative' feel to it (less intuitive). AtlasTi looks like it may be the way to go. But I'd love more feed back from anyone.

Transcribing went well... eventually, slow but interesting. I used video to record the groups with an excellent microphone so I could make MP3 tracks - certainly the way to go for amature transcribing for me... easy to fast forward, rewind and skip tracks.
Now I need to work out how to format the trascriptions so that they work for the software that I choose.
A new line for every comment or just ever speaker? Use of headings?

So I am sort of stuck. Lots of work to do but first need to make a descission on the software.


I took a course on using Atlas.ti - and it was fine, but really any of them are only as good as what you are choosing and putting in, how much context you use, etc.; they will graphically organize and chart things, and are great for attaching memos and trying out organizational ideas - when I asked my advisor which she preferred (she is strictly about ethnography) she replied none, she does the old cut and paste. Kruger too uses a table method, which essentially is cut and paste.I'm probably going to go with Atlas.ti only because I learned it, but I'm still thinking about cutting/pasting methods or using a slightly more advanced mechanism with 'word' format and color coding.Good luck!


NVIVO is very good. Better and more userfriendly than the old Nudist N6. No experience with other software, though.