Qualitative Data Analysis Software Packages: An Integrative Review

  • Luiz Rafael Andrade
  • António Pedro Costa
  • Ronaldo Nunes Linhares
  • Carla Azevedo de Almeida
  • Luís Paulo Reis
Keywords: CAQDAS, Integrative Review, Qualitative Research, Ibero-American, NVivo, Atlas.ti, Dedoose, webQDA, MAXQDA.


The Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software Packages (CAQDAS) can be understood as a means of assisting the researcher in the treatment, organization and analysis of qualitative data for developing research or projects that deal with qualitative data. This type of software stands out and are sought after because they allow the qualitative analysis to be done in diverse formats (audio, video, image, text), levels of collaborative work (individual, two people working at the same time or more than two), and with distinct possibilities of organizing the data surveyed. This article aims to present an integrative review about the most relevant CAQDAS in Ibero-American, highlighting the potential of i) data organization, ii) variety of supports, iii) mobility, and iv) interaction with social networks. You can now identify various CAQDAS available on the Internet. Among these packages, we selected NVivo, ATLAS.ti, Dedoose, MAXQDA and webQDA (Reis, Costa, & Souza, 2016) for this study. The reviewed CAQDAS, based on the dimensions established in this research, have directed its functionalities to support the analysis of qualitative data of the researcher, in order to collaborate, facing an increasingly technological digital society, with the variety of supports to support the analyzes, with access options (computer, smartphone and tablet) to software, with the ability to work collaboratively online and with the option of use in Ibero-American languages. It was identified that in seeking software a type of support for the organization and analysis of qualitative data, the researcher has the opportunity to allow himself to take advantage of the possible "extensions or extensions of abilities" (Santaella, 2003) that can be offered to the user of CAQDAS. In the current scenario, the possibility of organizing and analyzing qualitative data through software, mediated by digital technologies and Internet access, has been increasingly available to the researcher. Here arises the perception that this type of possibility offered by the CAQDAS is a consequence of a technological evolution, for the events of the last sixty years are probably only an initial spark or, if we may, the prehistory of a technological society digital (Lemos & Lévy, 2010). In this scenario, the use of software starts to contemplate and (re)mix also ways of organizing and analyzing qualitative data. In presenting an integrative review of the most relevant CAQDAS in Ibero-American, we have established categories for this review that allow us to know better the software packages studied, as well as what each one can offer the researcher in terms of data organization, variety of media, access mobility and interaction with digital social networks.