Using Common Software Programs for Qualitative Data Analysis (QDA) Jean N. Scandlyn University of Colorado Denver Health and Behavioral Sciences

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1 Using Common Software Programs for Qualitative Data Analysis (QDA) Jean N. Scandlyn University of Colorado Denver Health and Behavioral Sciences

2 Topics Data display Tagging and retrieving text Coding Sorting data by codes and characteristics of participants Creating graphs

3 Websites for MS Office programs Web-based searches for specific questions or issues Methods articles (see last slides), Field Methods Resources

4 Community-based Research

5 Dedicated Qualitative Analysis Software Advantages Powerful and sophisticated, designed specifically for this purpose Repetitive tasks done automatically Can analyze different kinds of data Can build models and graphic displays Designed for multiple users Disadvantages Cost (all offer free trial subscriptions and significant student discounts) Training time Language (limited compared to MS Office programs) Availability across platforms (Mac versions coming this year)

6 MS Word and Excel Advantages Cost $139 for single user retail, $99 with student discount Availability Languages 108 languages across programs and operating system Training time Sufficient power for small jobs or projects Disadvantages Must set up program for each project More steps to code segments Repetitive work to manipulate data (can use macros to make this more efficient) Capacity limited for large, complex projects Can only work with numbers or text

7 What are these tools good for? When resources are scarce: Time for training Inadequate or unreliable internet access Mix of equipment Cannot purchase dedicated programs Small projects with limited scope Structured interviews and qualitative survey responses Testing specific hypotheses data display

8 Transcripts Turn on MS Word s Show/Hide feature Each new speaker (turn) should begin a new paragraph ( ). To break up a long passage you want to keep together use a soft return (see example) Make sure that all transcripts are in the same font, color, size and with the same formatting at the beginning of coding Create header at beginning of transcript with face codes of participant (minimal is participant ID)

9 Kew Word Analysis Use Word s Find function to perform: Key word count Kew word in context

10 Coding See Ryan (2004) Two types of codes: Codes that label blocks of text of varying length (content codes) Codes that act as values (face codes) Nominal, ordinal, or ratio scale Characteristics of participants Characteristics of sources of information

11 Using MS Word to Code and Retrieve Blocks of Text Uses Word s Find function Works best with simple or small codebooks Structured or semi-structured interviews, single individuals or groups How to designate codes demands careful planning Everyone on the team must use code designations uniformly and consistently Keep identifying information with text segments

12 Getting Started Create initial codebook A priori codes In vivo codes Assign characteristics to each code (font, size, color, italics, bold, underline) Create heading with value codes Make sure all transcripts are in the same font, size and color to begin

13 Code Code List All text and codes are in 12 point fonts Default font is Arial Deployment (underline) PTSD (italic) Social Support (bold) Code Stress (red) Coping (purple) Stigma (dark blue) Mental Health (bold, italic) Media (Times New Roman) FRG (blue) Army Response (green) Military Civilian Gap (Times New Roman, bold)

14 Soldier Codes TBI Codes PTSD Dave Barry Phys TBI would be like a concussion, or hitting your head, or something like that. It s more of a physical aspect. Danny Cotton-wood Phys TBI is black and white, getting hit by an IED every time you go out, your brain is scrambled, not working properly. Winston Wells Phys TBI is actual physical trauma to your brain. Sam Adams Phys But TBI is a massive wound. You know TBI stands for Traumatic Brain Injury. Usually it happens from like a big IED an explosion. Rattles your brain. I've seen it happen to a couple guys. Like a big shock wave or something rattles your brain. Like I even know guys that have been shot in the head and lived. I don t know if they count that as TBI. Mental Mental Mental Mental PTSD is more mental PTSD, you know, people freaking out, stuff like that, pretty much the thing. PTSD is more of a mental thing, still in your head but you can't really do an MRI to see PTSD. PTSD is a mental disorder. Like you're shook up about things. And like the closest thing I ever had to PTSD was like just getting used to being back and like coming back was extremely strange. Like you think about being back at least five minutes of every day in Iraq and like you get back, like somebody sneezes and like, oh it's a giant party.

15 Point Tagging For more complex code books, you can use point tagging and contiguous point tagging Automate these steps using macros At the beginning of a segment, insert a marker indicating the attached code: [[stigma]]. You can also create a macro that highlights a segment with point tags at the beginning and end. A second macro finds the segment, copies it and moves it to a new Word document. See Ryan (2004) for instructions to create these macros.

16 Working in Excel Can analyze qualitative data both qualitatively and quantitatively Can handle larger quantities of data than Word and more complex codebooks and more face codes Prepare your data in Word and then transfer it to Excel Excel works really well for structured interviews and open-ended survey responses

17 Alternative structure for Excel For structured interviews or open-ended responses to survey questions, create a new worksheet in Excel for each question. Response Participant A Question 1 Response Participant A Response Participant A Response Participant A

18 Alternative structure for Excel To compare responses across participants or for semi-structured interviews: Face Value 1 Face Value 2 Face Value 3 Responses Participant 1 Code 1 Code 1 Code 1 Face Value 1 Face Value 2 Face Value 3 Responses Participant 2 Code 1 Code 1 Code 1

19

20 Conclusions Match tools to the task, questions, kind and complexity of your data and to the available resources Powerful and flexible programs Use macros to automate repetitive tasks Create a different kind of interaction with the analytical process than dedicated programs

21 References Eliot, Susan Using Excel for Qualitative Data Analysis. The Listening Resource. Hahn, Christopher Doing Qualitative Research Using Your Computer. Los Angeles, CA: Sage Publications. La Pelle, Nancy Simplifying Qualitative Data Analysis Using General Purpose Software. Field Methods 16(1): Meyer, Daniel Z., and Leanne M. Avery Excel as a Qualitative Data Analysis Tool. Field Methods 21(1): Miles, Matthew B., A. Michael Huberman, and Johnny Saldana Qualitative Data Analysis: A Methods Sourcebook. 3 rd ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Ryan, Gery W Using a Word Processor to Tag and Retrieve Blocks of Text. Field Methods 16(1): Stockdale, Margaret. S Analyzing Focus Group Data with Spreadsheets. American Journal of Health Studies 18(1): Swallow, Veronica, John Newton, and Carolyn Van Lottum How to Manage and Display Qualitative Data Using Framework and Microsoft Excel. Journal of Clinical Nursing 12:

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