Nvivo is the proprietary software most widely used by researchers to analyse their qualitative data. The software is very mature and offers a wide range of tools available through clicks. However, it has some problems:
This list of reasons made me develop a software to help me organize and analyse the data I collected during my PhD research. But this post is not about my baby. Instead, I want to talk about BarraQDA - NvivoTools.
This set of tools allows you to export projects built on Nvivo to some more flexible (and open) formats. The options are RQDA (an open add-on to R that enable text coding) and a "standardized SQL format" that is coherent with current schemes for qualitative data and very user-friendly for non-experienced programmers.
Recently, I used the script to convert Nvivo to SQL to help a colleague generate a report ordered by an criteria that was not supported by Nvivo. Once exported, I opened it using SQLite Manager on Firefox and run a query doing what she needed. Lovely!
If you are stuck with Nvivo, you may consider these scripts to get some freedom if you need...
I am a user of free software since 2004 and a big enthusiast of the idea both in a practical and ideological sense. It has been more than 10 years since I do not need windows and I try to contribute with free software as often as I can.
When I realized my Ph.D research would be based on qualitative data, I noticed that I would have problems to find a free (open, libre) software to help me in the process. After some research, I decided to develop a software with one immediate and one long-term goal:
This was my background project during the last 10 months. I would say I have spent about 40 hours of coding in it and, fortunately, I was able to get to a stage where it does most of the things I need and it may be useful to other researchers. That is why I decided to make it public: https://github.com/barichello/openQDA.
Hopefully, this software will evolve to a free alternative to Nvivo!