Top 15 Free Qualitative Data Analysis Software
Published on August 19, 2022
What is Qualitative Data Analysis Software?
Qualitative Data Analysis software allows users to organize and analyze large amounts of qualitative data they have collected. Qualitative data can be anything non-numerical gathered from various sources such as, but not limited to surveys, interviews, emails, notes, phone calls, and public policy documents and plans. It can be difficult for a researcher to organize the vast amount of qualitative data they have collected, and this is the problem Qualitative Data Analysis software seeks to solve.
The first generation of Qualitative Data Analysis software was developed in the mid-1980s to help provide researchers with an effective means to store, retrieve and analyze non-numeric information. Today, there is various Qualitative Data Analysis software available for researchers and businesses, ranging in functionality as well as price point. Pricing will depend on whether you are in academia or not and will vary from free to over USD 1,200.
LiGRE is a web-based qualitative data analysis application you can access from anywhere on any device. LiGRE was developed by graduate students in Quebec Canada who found commonly used qualitative data analysis applications to be too expensive, device-specific, and prone to crashing. LiGRE’s free plan can be used for collaboration between team members, transcription of both audio and video interviews, creating and applying a coding structure, and analyzing your qualitative data. Moreover, the application allows comments and suggestions to be shared between team members through notes and bookmarks. For users who may require further qualitative data analysis functionality, LiGRE offers reasonably priced plans at different price points in addition to their popular free plan.
2. QDA Miner Lite
Provalis Research was founded in the late 1980s and is headquartered in Montreal, Canada. Provalis offers a free qualitative data analysis application QDA Miner Lite. QDA Miner Lite qualitative data analysis application is a Microsoft Windows application and can be downloaded and installed on one device. The QDA Minor Lite does not offer audio, video, or other transcription capabilities; however, it does allow you to import from other transcription applications. The qualitative data analysis application offers an easy-to-use coding organized in a tree structure and the ability to add comments to coded segments. Provalis Research offers many paid software options depending on whether the end user is a Commercial enterprise, Government and NGO, or Academic; with one-year subscription prices ranging from $90 to $3,500.
RQDA is a free qualitative data analysis application and is open-sourced. RQDA can be downloaded and is compatible with Microsoft Windows, MAC OAS platforms, and Linux. The free qualitative data analysis application only allows the importation of plain text and allows for memos on documents, codes, projects, and files. Users who are less tech-savvy would not find the RQDA webpage user-friendly. Lastly, there are no options to increase the level of services by moving to a paid plan if a user requires more tools.
TAMS is a free qualitative data analysis application that is available for download. TAMS can only be used on a MAC or LINUX operating system. TAMS Analyzer works with TAMs to assign ethnographic codes to sections of text. The TAMS analyzer is on version 4.0 and allows for PDF and image coding and analysis and support. TAMS has no option to upgrade the level of services or features by moving to a paid plan.
ELAN is a free qualitative data analysis application that mainly allows users to textually annotate and transcribe audio and video recordings. The free qualitative data analysis software is open-sourced and can be downloaded for use on Windows, MacOS, and Linux. For users looking for features beyond audio and video recording annotation and transcription, this free qualitative data analysis application may not be the best choice. Lastly, this qualitative data analysis application cannot move into paid subscriptions if additional application features are required.
CATMA (Computer Assisted Text Markup and Analysis) is a free qualitative data analysis (QDA) application that is web-based, available on popular web browsers, and does not require the user to download the application. CATMA allows users to annotate, analyze, interpret and visualize data; however, it does not offer audio or video transcription. CATMA is currently funded by the German Research Foundation, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and users can contact them for support using email or chat. The QDA application does not offer greater functionality with paid plans.
GATE (General Architecture for Text Engineering) is a free open sourced QDA application available for download on either a PC or a Mac. GATE is over 15 years old and provides users with numerous options for completing computational tasks relating to human language. The GATE QDA application has an extensive development team as well as a large user and developer community to provide support. While GATE does not offer paid plans if further features are required, it does offer customization services.
QualCoder is a free, open-source QDA application and is available for download and use on computers running Windows, MacOS, and Linux. The application allows users to code text and images, write journal notes and comments, and categorize codes into tree-like hierarchical structures. The qualitative data analysis tool allows users to code audio and video files; however, it does not offer the ability to transcribe audio or video files. Two drawbacks to the application are the inability to have two users use the application at one time and no additional ability to upgrade to a paid plan if further tools are required. A strong benefit to the free QDA application is that the community of users and developers is active and engaged on the website.
QCAMP is a free, open-source qualitative data analysis application that is web-based. The free QDA software allows users to analyze large amounts of text and images derived from multiple qualitative data collection methods. The application does not allow for further features through upgrading to a paid account, however, the website is relatively up-to-date, and the developers appear active.
TAGUETTE is a free and open-sourced qualitative data analysis software that is compatible with all operating systems. The software allows users to import files in multiple formats, including PDF, Word Docs, Text Files and Rich Text Files, and more. The software is only available for download and is not web-based. Similar to other free qualitative data analysis software, there are no options to upgrade your account if you are looking for more features. The website is current, and the development team appears active. With many free QDA websites appearing stale with a non-active development team, this is a significant positive.
VISAO is a free QDA software application that is available for download for use only on Microsoft Windows operating systems. The application allows users to analyze large amounts of text data and its functionality is focused on computer-aided text analysis. The VISAO website is dated, and the latest version of the application was released in 2015.
LibraQDA is a free open-sourced computer-assisted qualitative data analysis software that is free for download. Users can import files in many different formats and assign metadata. When imported files are open, users can tag and codify with a hierarchic coding system. Users cannot upgrade to a paid account if they require more tools. The QDA software website where you can download the application appears dated and lacks support.
Dedoose is a web-based QDA application that was first developed by social science researchers in the late 1990s. Dedoose provides users with mixed methods of working with their text, audio, video, images, surveys, and test data. The application supports collaboration between any number of teammates using the application at the same time. The QDA application is free for the first 30-days and users are required to move to a paid subscription per user costing between $10.95 and $14.95 per month.
TOSMANA is a Qualitative Comparative Analysis tool and the latest version 1.4 was released in 2015. The application allows users to upload data from spreadsheet programs and reports are shown in a web browser. There is no option to upgrade the account to a paid subscription for more features and it does not look like the tool has been updated since 2015.
Quirkos is a qualitative data analysis software that can either be used as web-based or downloaded and is compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux. The company was founded in 2013 to create accessible software for qualitative research. The software offers considerable functionality, and its website is current and includes an active blog with recent articles. Quirkos offers a 14-day trial and affordable monthly subscriptions for students, academics, the public sector, and commercial users.