QUALITATIVE DATA ANALYSIS: Meaning, Methods, Free Software & Questions

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The prospect of analyzing qualitative data may seem quite daunting for those venturing into the realm of research. The world of jargon is a labyrinth of elusive and abstract ideas. Navigating through it can feel like walking on eggshells. Have no worries! This post will unravel how to analyze qualitative data software from a questionnaire and the method for using the free method of free qualitative data analysis so that you can tackle your analysis with poise and proficiency.

What is a Qualitative Data Analysis?

The art of qualitative data analysis involves delicately collecting, organizing, and deciphering qualitative data to unravel its true meaning. Qualitative data is like a free-flowing river of information, without the constraints of numbers or rigid organization. In addition, it encompasses a wide range of expressive mediums, including but not limited to verbal responses to research questions, intimate user interviews, and captivating audio recordings.

Furthermore, the feedback of customers is a valuable resource for firms, and one way they make sense of it is through qualitative data analysis. In this realm, qualitative data takes the form of raw textual gems sourced from a variety of channels, including evaluations, critiques, chat logs, reports, and social media musings.

Also see: WHAT IS QUALITATIVE DATA: Definition, Examples and Analysis

Qualitative Data Analysis Software

Below are the best qualitative data analysis software options:

#1. Thematic

This is thematic a powerful software that can analyze vast amounts of qualitative data with ease. Hence, by detecting concepts in consumer feedback, Thematic provides valuable insights that can be acted upon quickly. The beauty of AI is that it requires no manual programming or training of prototypes. That is to say, you can discover the hidden gems of growth opportunities by working smarter, not harder. 

#2. Quirkos

This is also one of the qualitative data analysis programs that is quite easy and affordable. It is a powerful tool that swiftly detects prevalent keywords in written content, enabling businesses to effortlessly comprehend client evaluations and assessments.

#3. NVivo 

This is also one of the qualitative analysis software programs that provide a robust platform for mixed-methods and qualitative studies. This tool is crafted to assist users in sorting, dissecting, and uncovering revelations within chaotic data sources, including but not limited to evaluations, articles, social networks, and websites. Exploring qualitative data without NVivo can be a daunting task, as it demands more time, effort, and skill to handle and sift through the information. It cannot be overstated how crucial it is to utilize software when conducting research of this nature. Hence, without it, uncovering correlations within one’s data and unearthing novel perspectives that can provide a competitive advantage becomes an arduous task.


This is a powerful tool that empowers companies to delve deep into their customer data, providing a comprehensive qualitative analysis experience. Hence, with this amazing software, you can effortlessly bring in data from a variety of sources, including focus groups, opinion polls, videos, and social media platforms. Also, by utilizing this approach, you can conveniently peruse all your qualitative data in a single, unified hub.

#5. Dedoose 

This software stands out from the crowd by enabling users to remain at the cutting edge of top-notch encoding innovations. Ensuring the safety and availability of their data is of utmost importance, which is why they have optimized the solution to be incorporated in Dedoose. Dedoose was developed with a keen eye for teamwork efficiency, making it a go-to for users seeking to grant restricted access to their initiatives with ease. Dedoose’s user-friendly interface is also designed to provide a seamless experience, allowing users to effortlessly navigate the platform and make the most of its features. Hence, with a sleek and intuitive design, Dedoose ensures that users can focus on their work without any distractions.

Method of Qualitative Data Analysis

Qualitative data analysis and consumer preferences can be like a puzzle waiting to be solved, and luckily there are various methods of analysis at your disposal. The approach you choose will depend on your unique business objectives and the nature of the data you’ve gathered. However, we have compiled the various methods for analyzing qualitative data that will aid you in unraveling the insights you’ve gathered from your customers through inquiries, polls, and feedback.

#1. Narrative Analysis

The purpose of this method of qualitative data analysis is to understand how and why people tell stories and the language they use to do so. It is particularly beneficial for learning the varied opinions of customers on the same topic. That is to say, you might be able to describe the findings of a targeted case study by employing a narrative analysis.

#2. Content Analysis

Language, subjects, and notions can all be looked for and counted using content analysis. This is a method of qualitative data analysis that can be used with any type of media. You can trust the insights you draw about your brand’s performance and how you can better serve your customers, as this technique converts qualitative feedback into quantifiable statistics.

#3.  Grounded Theory Analysis

This is a unique method of qualitative data analysis for developing a theory via data collection and analysis. This idea clarifies how something in the social realm “functions.” One of the most common qualitative analysis methods, “grounded theory,” compiles the opinions of study participants into a comprehensive, overarching explanation of a procedure or act.

#4. Discourse Analysis

By analyzing discourse, researchers can learn more about the social, political, and cultural factors at play in any given scenario. Here, we examine the nuances of human communication across a variety of social settings. Brand strategists frequently employ discourse analysis to deduce the motivations behind a target audience’s opinions on a specific company or product.

#5. Thematic Analysis

Algorithms like Dovetails and Thematic facilitate thematic analysis’s ability to detect, examine, and interpret themes in qualitative data. Although they have some superficial similarities, content analysis, and thematic analysis are quite distinct.

Free Qualitative Data Analysis Software

Below is the list of free qualitative data analysis software:

#1. RQDA

This is a free qualitative analysis software for analyzing qualitative data. RQDA is available for download and works with Windows, Apple’s OS X, and Ubuntu. You can only enter plain text into the free qualitative data analysis software, and you can make notes on things like documents, scripts, initiatives, and folders. The RQDA website is not designed with non-technical users in mind. Finally, if a user needs more features, they cannot upgrade to a paid subscription and receive them. 

#2. GATE

The open-source GATE (General Architecture for Text Engineering)  program works on both Windows and macOS computers. GATE has been around for more than 15 years, and in that time it has expanded to include a wide variety of tools for doing computational tasks related to human language. The GATE application is supported by a sizable group of programmers and users, respectively. However, GATE does provide customization services in the event that additional capabilities are desired but subscription plans are not available.

#3. LiGRE

You can use LiGRE, a web-based program for qualitative data analysis, from any computer, anywhere in the world. Graduate students at the University of Quebec in Canada created LiGRE because they were frustrated by the high cost, limited functionality, and frequent crashes of existing qualitative data analysis software.

Collaborating as a group, transcribing interviews, developing a coding scheme, and using free qualitative data analysis software are all possible with LiGRE’s free plan. Remarks and references make it easy for team members to communicate and collaborate on projects. In addition to their widely adopted free plan, LiGRE also provides a range of affordable paid plans, each of which includes several features for free qualitative data analysis software.

#4. Qiqqa 

This is another cutting-edge product that has found widespread adoption in the worlds of academia and industry. PDFs can be found, read, and annotated with this free qualitative analysis software. Users can rapidly edit, publish, and compile citations of their work. Qiqqa ensures that a user’s PDFs are safe and can be accessed and searched in an instant from any of their devices. PDFs are no longer required on a computer; instead, they can be detected, labeled, and organized mechanically.

#5. TAMS

This is also a free qualitative data analysis software that you can easily download and start exploring your data in a whole new way. TAMS is exclusively compatible with Linux platforms. The TAMS Analyzer is a powerful tool that collaborates with TAMs to allocate qualitative codes to specific portions of textual content. 

This wondrous tool boasts the ability to deftly analyze and code both PDFs and images with ease, all while providing top-notch support. Unfortunately, TAMS does not offer the opportunity to enhance your experience by upgrading to a premium plan with additional features.

How to Analyze Qualitative Data From a Questionnaire

Below are the various ways to analyze qualitative data from a questionnaire:

#1. Gather Your Questionnaires and Carry Out Your Research

Data collection is the initial phase of analyzing qualitative data from a questionnaire. Simply put, this is the process of collecting all of your information for analysis. Qualitative data that is dispersed across several sources is a frequent occurrence.

#2. Organize and Connect All of Your Data

Now that you have access to qualitative data, there is a problem: the data is unorganized. Feedback must be gathered in one location before it can be assessed and assigned a value. You will also find it simpler to summarize and make choices concerning this data. However, this can only take place if it is all readily available in one location and is analyzed consistently.

#3. Code Your Data

The third step in this approach involves coding the observations and, more importantly, reading them all to determine how they should be organized.

#4. Execute Your Queries

It’s now time to execute your queries when all of your data has been coded. To put it simply, this entails searching for ideas in your data. The number and kind of queries you run at this step will depend on your data collection needs.

#5. Report Your Findings

Reporting on your qualitative findings and telling the story are the final steps in the analysis process. The codes have now been fully developed, and the emphasis is on telling the story to the public.

What Are Examples of Qualitative Analysis Data?

When it comes to analyzing qualitative data, there are a plethora of exciting avenues to explore. You can delve into the depths of poll findings, review sites, email messages, interviews, and other text sources. Meanwhile, all these things can be done while utilizing an array of devices and techniques to uncover hidden insights.

What Are the 4 Components of Qualitative Data Analysis?

At the heart of the quality framework lies the notion that every piece of qualitative research must possess four key components: credibility, analyzability, transparency, and utility. 

What Are the Two Branches of Qualitative Analysis?

Qualitative analysis branches out into two distinct paths: the organic route, which includes the iodine test, and the inorganic route, which encompasses the flame test. 

What Are the 7 Phases of Qualitative Data Analysis?

Embarking on the clinical-qualitative content analysis journey involves traversing seven distinct steps, which include the following: 

  • Refining content for examination.
  • Immersing oneself in a literary world while suspended in a floating state.
  • Crafting the building blocks of  analysis
  • Building the language of significance
  • Polishing the codes and crafting categories.
  • Validity

What Are the 6 Types of Qualitative Data Analysis?

Qualitative research comes in many flavors, each with its unique approach and flavor. Some of the most common types include phenomenological, grounded theory, ethnographic, historical, case study, and action research.

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