Qualitative Data Analysis with ATLAS.ti Windows

In this course you will learn how to conduct an analysis project with ATLAS.ti Windows version 8.

The Background

What is ATLAS.ti?

What is ATLAS.ti? 

  • ATLAS.ti is software within the category of Computer-Assisted Qualitative Data  Analysis Software (CAQDAS). These are software that started to be created in the 1980s, and ATLAS.ti is one of the pioneers.
  • ATLAS.ti assists the researcher in the process of identifying meanings and themes in the data.
    • We say that it 'assists' the researcher in this process because the software cannot do the actual analysis, given that analysis implies interpretation.
    • ATLAS.ti provides us tools that, if we use well, will help us engage in an integrated and transparent  process of analysis, and we will be able to ground our findings in the evidence.
    • The extent to which we conduct a good analysis with ATLAS.ti depends to a large extent on  methodological clarity, on  having a good research design, and in engaging in the analysis process making an effort to fluidly integrate writing to segmentation, coding and visualization.

Here is the project

This is how the project looks.

The Components of an Analysis Project

Analysis as Dialogue

A fundamental part of qualitative analysis has to do with the relationship that we establish with the source of information. I propose that we should engage in a dialogue with our sources and in this dialogue we will do the following:

  • Read and segment the data. As a result, we create 'quotations'.
  • As we select a segment we consider interesting, we write descriptions, reflections and insights. That is done in the form of 'comments' and 'memos'.
  • Once quotations have been created, we attach to them words of short phrases that capture their essence. These are the 'codes.'
  • And we always make an effort to visualize the connections and how the system is coming together. And we do that in the form of 'networks.'

The Entities of an Analysis Project

All projects are made of 'entities'. These are the components and central pieces that me up a project. They are the following:

  • Documents: Sources of information.
  • Quotations: Segments of the data that we select manually or automatically. Quotations can be considered to be the raw data.
  • Codes: According to Saldaña (2016), codes are words or short phrases that symbolically asking a summative meaning to a portion of language-based on visual data. In other words, codes represent efforts of interpretation.
  • Memos. These are spaces where we write narratives representing our understanding of the data. We may have content-oriented and process-oriented memos. Content-oriented memos are those in which we write our understanding of topics or themes, while process-oriented memos are those in which we describe and reflect upon the process of analysis.

  • Links. All projects are made of linkages between entities. For example, a code linked to a quotation, a memo linked to a code. Links can be of two kinds: first-order and second-order. First-order links are those we create with an interpretative purpose in mind, as when we create concept maps representing our understanding. Second-order links are those links between entities of the project that do not imply a purpose: they simply reflect that one element is connect to another element. This is the case of the linkage between a code and a quotation.
  • Networks. These are the graphical representation of linkages. Each of the entities of a project (e.g., a document, a quotation, a code) can be visualized as a network representation, in which we would all elements or items that are connect to the document, the quotation or the code. 

  • Groups. Documents, codes, memos and networks can be grouped together according to shared characteristics. 

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How do you define ATLAS.ti?

  • An airplane
  • A car
  • A software

Explain what are the entities that make up a project with ATLAS.ti.

What are the sources of information?

The sources of information of a project are called 

The Interface

The Main Components of the Interface

The Key Components

The key components of the interface of ATLAS.ti 8 are the following:

The ribbons

The Navigator

Now, let's watch a video describing the interface:

 

 

Interface video

The Interface