It is safe to say that the data analysis software you choose will have a large impact on general procedures and on the outcome of your research project. Finding the best software for collecting qualitative research data can be daunting, since there are myriad options out there to choose from. However, you need not worry, because we describe here some reliable criteria to consider in your selection.
Data analysis software can be different from others. This is because there are various versions ranging from simple packages to entirely customizable applications. You will find that there are those you can only access on desktops, while others are accessible on mobile devices. However, the most important factor here is that the software features are in line with the needs of your research project. Last but not least, it is worth noting that the software should be fully compatible with your device, be it mobile or a computer.
There are a number of free research tools out there. However, the free versions may not be as effective as you would like, and are often limiting. That is why you may need to consider getting a premium one that is affordable. With this, you experience improved functionality and get results much faster than with the free versions.
It is wise to focus on your research objectives. You need to be aware that not all qualitative data analysis methods and tools are designed with the same processes in mind. You will find that some will need coding, but not all. Therefore, you must focus on the requirements of your research when selecting the right software. Basically, your research demands will determine the software.
It is wise to ask for a few recommendations. Another great approach in finding the best software for your qualitative research is checking out what researchers in your industry have been using. These recommendations can be found on research papers since they will have all the best and recently launched tools published in them. So, get yourself a few research papers and check out what researchers in your fields are recommending. You can even ask them for any insights concerning the software currently on the market.
Check out reviews
A lot of software has its own web pages. These websites have very helpful and informative reviews from previous users. If you check out the reviews carefully, you will get to learn the pros and cons of such tools. One of the best ways to maximize the benefit of reviews is to simply look out for patterns in customer comments across various platforms. This way, you will be better able to understand your own expectations with particular software.
Try the Tool
You may perform due diligence but fail to grasp the functionality of the software. This is why trying it becomes a great way to get firsthand experience in using it. So, you can always try using the free package to learn if it is the best.
Remember, your research results might be profoundly affected by the tools you use. Therefore, it is extremely important that you choose the best tools for your project. If you consider the above factors in the selection of your software, you will eventually come up with the right one.