Computer Programs - Computer Essay Example

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Use the Internet to explore computer programs that can be used for qualitative analysis. Many Web sites will allow you to download a trial version at no cost. Find one offering a free trial version and download it. Work with the program over a period of several days, and note the strengths and weaknesses of the program. It might be useful to use the program to help you in your content analysis of Web sites.

You may also begin exploring the use of a word processor for your computer-aided analysis. Consider the Carney article, `Categorizing, Coding, and Manipulating Qualitative Data Using the WordPerfect® Word Processor,` as one way to code and analyze data using a word processor. Although the Carney makes use of WordPerfect®, the basic coding and analysis will be the same for all word processors.

Post a summary of your experiences with the analytical software you chose to download. Include the Web site and any other Web sites you found that helped you understand how to use the software. Were you able to input data of any type? If not, why? If you did, summarize what you learned from your analysis. How might you use this technology in the future?

I would be performing a qualitative data analysis of the word processing software AnSWR that is developed by the CDC.  This software can be utilized in many situations such as: –

1.      Coordinating team based qualitative data analysis

2.      Handling complex databases

3.      Managing data components that function in an integrated manner

4.      Helping in the development of a structured codebook

5.      Assessing inter-coder agreements

6.      Provides flexible options during the selection stage

7.      Facilitates functioning of both qualitative and quantitative programs

8.      Hierarchical connection of codes can be developed using this software

Once the data has been collected from the research team, it has to be subjected for analysis by the AnSWR software.  This data may be collected in several ways including questionnaire tools, observational notes, interviews, etc.  This information is feed into the software and each member of the team can access the database to varying extents depending on the rights assigned to them.  These rights may vary from accessibility to administrative functions.  The information is stored in the database and can be modified to varying extents by the user.  The administrator can lock this information.  The details regarding the sources of information is also feed into the database.  A process of coding is done on the database (adding codes and notes).  The AnSWR software can present the reports (outputs) in the form of codebooks, coder profiles, code percentages, text output, etc.  The Software can also create links between information stored on the database and that stored on the Internet or some other location (CDC, 2007).

Strengths

1.      The software is free and is available for the public use

2.      At any time the data can be added in the form of files

3.      Coding can be done at any time

4.      The data and the sources of data can be modified at any time

5.      It can be utilized for small projects as well as for team-based work

6.      Both qualitative and quantitative information can be handled

7.      Its very powerful software and if learned how to be utilized properly, could save the organization a lot of money.  This software is free and can do a lot of complicated tasks. (Boise State University)

Limitations

1.      It can only be utilized by only one researcher

2.      It can be utilized only for smaller projects

3.      It may be very difficult to learn how to operate and manage the software

References:

Boise State University – AnSWR:  Analysis Software for Word-Based Records, Retrieved on June, 22, 2007, from Boise State University Web site: http://edtech2.boisestate.edu/qda/answr.htm

CDC (2007), AnSWR Overview, Retrieved on June, 22, 2007, from CDC Web site: http://www.cdc.gov/hiv/topics/surveillance/resources/software/answr/overview.htm

 

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