I’m a novice at focus group research. Specifically, I’m looking for software geared toward processing, transcribing and analysis of data from focus group research. How user friendly, expensive is the software? Can any of the more traditional software packages (e.g., spss) accommondate qualitative data analysis?
Most ‘traditional’ data analysis packages (such as SPSS) are not really well-suited to qualitative analysis as their underlying data models do not support textual material. The family of software known as Computer Aided Qualitative Data AnalySis (CAQDAS for short) however are designed for this purpose and will be much more helpful – a website at the University of Surrey guiding you through the various different packages here: CAQDAS. These packages help you code, arrange and ‘map’ your data in more helpful ways than simply using, say, flourescent markers.
The remit of your study (e.g. number of focus groups, nature of questions, nature of response) should really guide your choice of software package. For a small number of in-depth focus groups my usual choice is QSR’s NVivo; however some of my colleagues will not be moved from Atlas/TI. They vary in cost from around $99 for a single student lisence to well over $1000 for a server-based system.
Best of luck with your studies,
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