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There are a ton of qualitative data analysis software available and finding the right one is no small feat. You want a powerful tool to help you dissect customer data and uncover meaningful insights - but need to figure out which one is best. Rest assured, I'm here to guide you.  In this post I make things simple, leveraging my experience evaluating dozens of data analysis platforms to bring you this shortlist of the best qualitative data analysis software.

What is Qualitative Data Analysis Software?

Qualitative data analysis software (QDAS) is a tool that helps researchers and professionals systematically analyze large volumes of non-numerical or unstructured data, such as text, video, and audio files. This data may be collected through focus groups, interviews, or techniques such as document analysis.

QDAS typically includes features such as data coding, data visualization, data retrieval, linking of data segments, reporting, content analysis, and voice analysis. The goal is to enable researchers to gain a more nuanced understanding of market dynamics and consumer sentiment, driving strategic decisions that align with customer desires and industry trends.

Overviews Of The 10 Best Qualitative Data Analysis Software

In this article, I’m evaluating all the top QDA options available today. For each, I’ll summarize the key features, justify its inclusion, and show you interface screenshots. You’ll also get trial and pricing details, so it’s easy for you to find the best fit for your data analysis requirements.

1

Dedoose

Best for a cross-platform qualitative analysis app

30-day free trial

From $14.95/user/month

Dedoose is a web-based tool for qualitative and mixed methods research. It facilitates data collection, analysis, and organization. As a result, you can extract meaningful customer insights from data such as textual, visual, and audio sources.

Why I picked Dedoose:  This tool offers robust capabilities for analyzing, managing, and presenting data. The feature set includes the ability to organize, transcribe, code, and extract insights from large volumes of unstructured data, such as focus groups, interviews, or surveys.

Dedoose also aids collaboration through its cloud-based design and offers powerful data visualization tools. These aid in understanding complex data platforms and communicating research findings. 

Dedoose Standout Features and Integrations:

Dedoose’s biggest standout feature is its web-based approach. This enables researchers to access and work on their projects from anywhere, fostering better collaboration and teamwork. 

The software is also notable for its rich set of analysis tools. These include charting, data coding, and data visualization. The exceptional mixed-methods data handling allows you to integrate and analyze qualitative and quantitative data together.

Integration support includes the ability to import data from many different sources, such as spreadsheets, text documents, PDFs, video, and audio files. The software also integrates with popular transcription services to accelerate the processing of audio and video data. 

Pros

  • Web-based real-time collaboration
  • Robust data coding tools
  • Advanced charting capabilities

Cons

  • Requires stable internet connection
  • Limited multimedia analysis tools
2

Qualtrics XM

Best for understanding customer behavior in real-time

7-day free trial + free demo

Pricing upon request

Qualtrics XM uses advanced digital analytics, behavioral heuristics, and session replay to help you understand the user experience. You can analyze broken digital journeys and drop-off points to inform decision-making and create a better user experience. 

Why I picked Qualtrics XM: This experience management platform helps you collect, analyze, and act on feedback gathered from multiple touchpoints. You can use it to create and distribute surveys, consolidate data in real-time, and apply advanced analytics to draw meaningful insights.

The software’s predictive intelligence and statistical analysis features encourage a data-driven approach to decision making across the organization.

Qualtrics XM Standout Features and Integrations:

Qualtrics XM’s biggest standout feature is its holistic approach to experience management. This allows users to gather, analyze, and act on data concerning customers, products, employees, or brand experiences. 

You can make every session an opportunity to enhance the customer experience, without asking visitors to provide any information. Analysts can watch replays of visitor sessions to uncover the context. This makes it easy to understand the root cause of frustrations, errors, and negative engagement metrics.

Integrations are available with many different platforms to improve workflows and enhance data analysis. These include CRM tools such as Salesforce, communications tools like Slack, and HR platforms like Workday. Qualtrics XM is also compatible with data visualization and business intelligence tools such as Tableau. 

Pros

  • Comprehensive experience management platform
  • Real-time data collection
  • Predictive intelligence features

Cons

  • Limited qualitative coding features
  • Complex setup for beginners
3

Cauliflower

Best for no-code text analysis via an integrated chatbot

Free trial available

Pricing upon request

Cauliflower is an AI-powered data analysis tool that automates conversations with customers, conducts surveys, generates leads, and provides support using customizable, intelligent chatbots. 

Why I picked Cauliflower: This tool helps businesses who wish to automate and optimize interactions with customers. By leveraging Cauliflower’s chatbots, you can provide 24/7  customer support and guide users through various processes. You can also collect valuable feedback without the need for human intervention.

Cauliflower’s chatbots empower you to align customer interactions with your unique brand voice and goals. This makes it a valuable tool for any business seeking to enhance customer engagement. 

Cauliflower Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include AI-powered chatbots that can be trained with existing data and  high-level customization options, allowing you to align the tone of its responses with your brand voice. 

Additional features include the ability to create complex conversational flows, conduct surveys automatically, and capture leads efficiently. 

Integrations are available with multiple CRM systems and customer support platforms. Cauliflower also provides comprehensive API access capabilities. This allows businesses to develop custom integrations and incorporate chatbot functionality into existing business systems. 

Pros

  • High-level bot customization
  • Automated surveys and lead capture

Cons

  • Complex conversational flow creation
  • Requires quality training data
  • Less suitable for simple tasks
  • No voice bot support
4

Transana

Best for automated transcription

A free demo version with limited features is also available

One-time fee of $170

Transana offers sophisticated tools for analyzing video, audio, text, images, PDFs, and survey data. This qualitative analysis software allows researchers to interpret and understand complex phenomena.

Why I picked Transana: This tool empowers researchers to conduct in-depth analysis of multimedia data. The software supports the categorization and coding of multiple data types, making it easy to extract meaningful themes and patterns. 

The built-in automated transcription features make it easy to convert audio or video into text. Advanced AI algorithms transcribe spoken words accurately across multiple languages. Users can edit the transcriptions manually if required. 

Users can visualize data in multiple ways to help them interpret and report on the research findings. Thanks to its ability to handle large volumes of data, Transana improves the accuracy, efficiency, and depth of qualitative research. 

Transana Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include sophisticated audio and video analysis tools, simultaneous data coding, and text data analysis. The data visualization tools, including graphs and charts, are also a strength. 

The software supports real-time collaboration and also provides tools for maintaining data integrity and managing large datasets. 

Integrations are available with popular spreadsheet and word processing software, including Microsoft Excel and Word. The software can also handle many different video and audio formats for easy multimedia data analysis. Transana also supports the use of local and network data storage to enable efficient data management in various research environments. 

Pros

  • Advanced multimedia data analysis
  • Real-time collaborative features
  • Customizable coding categories

Cons

  • Limited online storage integration
  • Requires high system performance
5

Quirkos

Best for qualitative text data immersion

14-day free trial

From $23/user/month

Quirkos is a simple qualitative analysis software tool, designed to immerse you in your qualitative text data to gain a wealth of new, actionable insights. You can work from any device and see edits from colleagues pop up in real time.

Why I picked Quirkos: This qualitative analysis tool provides an intuitive, visually-engaging interface that simplifies the process of organizing and analyzing data. Its unique approach to data coding is based on ‘quirks’ or bubbles. These allow you to see the coding process in a visual, dynamic, and interactive manner. 

Quirkos supports many different data types, including images, text, and PDFs. The side-by-side comparison features allows you to analyze different data sources simultaneously. 

Quirkos Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include the bubble-based coding system, plus advanced search and retrieval capabilities. The system also includes a rich suite of data visualization tools for nuanced exploration of data. In addition, the hierarchical coding system permits deep, multilayered analysis.

Integration support includes the ability to import various data types, plus compatibility with other QDA software. This allows for the transfer of projects across different platforms, simplifying the qualitative data analysis process further still. 

Quirkos supports import and export of project files in the common QDA-XML standard, which enables compatibility with software like NVivo, MAXQDA, and ATLAS.ti.

Pros

  • Side-by-side data comparison
  • Hierarchical coding structure
  • Advanced search capabilities

Cons

  • Limited mixed-methods functionality
  • Less extensive querying tools
6

NVivo

Best for asking complex questions to identify themes

14-day free trial

One-time fee of $2,038

Using NVivo, you can learn more from your qualitative and mixed methods data. You can ask complex questions to identify themes and draw conclusions, or employ advanced data management and visualization tools. Uncover rich insights and produce clearly articulated, defensible findings. Then, back these up with rigorous evidence.

Why I picked NVivo: NVivo provides a wide range of tools to help you explore, manage, and visualize complex data sets. The robust coding system allows for efficient categorization and organization of data, while the built-in querying capabilities make intricate analysis possible.

The social network, analysis, and text mining capabilities allow researchers to glean insights from social media data and large text databases. Other powerful options include the ability to handle a wide broad array of data types. 

NVivo Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include deep querying capabilities, a powerful coding system, and data visualization tools designed for rich, nuanced analysis. Features such as social network analysis and text mining make it ideal for studying complex relationships and patterns. The ability to handle many different data types makes it a versatile and flexible research tool.

Integrations include support for data import from sources such as transcription services, web pages, and databases. The software also integrates easily with popular reference management software such as Zotero, EndNote, and RefWorks, ensuring a comprehensive research workflow.

Pros

  • Deep querying capabilities
  • Social network analysis feature
  • Supports diverse data types

Cons

  • High system requirements
  • Lacks real-time cloud syncing
7

QDA Miner

Best for computer-assisted coding, analysis, and report writing capabilities

Free demo available

From $83.33/user/month (billed annually)

QDA Miner is a popular qualitative data analysis tool for coding, organizing, retrieving, and annotating collections of images and documents. The software is well-suited to analyzing interview or focus group transcripts, journal articles, legal documents, speeches, or books. 

Why I picked QDA Miner: QDA Miner allows you to code and analyze documents quickly and reliably. You can import data from Word, Excel, HTML, XML, SPSS, Stata, NVivo, or PDFs. Information can also be gathered from social media, emails, web survey platforms, reference management tools, LexisNexis, and Factiva.

The software also includes report writing functionality for creating comprehensive reports of qualitative and mixed methods data analysis. This feature includes the ability to summarize coded data or visually represent findings with graphs and charts. Findings can be integrated into a written narrative for easy interpretation. 

QDA Miner Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include a powerful coding system, a robust text analysis suite, and comprehensive data visualization tools. This makes it perfect for data categorization, text mining, and sophisticated analysis.

The software also supports an array of data types and provides innovative features such as geographic information system (GIS) analysis and flexible data modeling. 

QDA Miner integrates easily with WordStat, a text mining and content analysis tool, as well as with SlimStat, a statistical analysis tool. As a result, it gives you flexibility to analyze text and relate the content to structured information, including categorical and numerical data.

The software is also compatible with transcription tools for processing audio and video data. In addition, it can work with statistical tools such as SPSS and R, giving a comprehensive approach to data analysis.  

Pros

  • Supports GIS analysis
  • Flexible data modeling
  • Accommodates multiple data types

Cons

  • Limited multimedia analysis tools
  • Less efficient coding system
8

MAXQDA

Best for qualitative and mixed methods data analysis

14-day free trial

From $15/user/month (billed annually)

MAXQDA is a qualitative and mixed methods data analysis tool. It allows researchers to organize, interpret, and evaluate multimedia and textual data, providing vital information that assists with market research. 

Why I picked MAXQDA: This software offers a robust suite of tools for retrieving, coding, and analyzing both qualitative and quantitative data. MAXQDA supports a broad range of data types, including audio, text, images, video, and social media data.

This data analysis platform is noted for its extensive visualization capabilities, which allow users to create custom models and maps, so they can better understand and present their findings. The overall power and versatility of this tool makes it very useful for anyone who needs to do a deep dive into market data. 

MAXQDA Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include a powerful coding system, memo and comment functions for annotating data, multimedia analysis capabilities, and extensive data visualization tools. It’s also notable for offering advanced querying and retrieval capabilities, georeferencing functions, and statistical analysis features. In all, MAXQDA provides a full suite of tools for deep, nuanced analysis.

Integrations are available with popular survey tools such as Google Forms and SurveyMonkey, along with statistical software tools like SPSS and R. MAZQDA offers strong compatibility with common data formats, including spreadsheets, text documents, PDFs, and a number of multimedia file types. 

Pros

  • Advanced visualization capabilities
  • Powerful mixed-methods functionality
  • Supports georeferencing

Cons

  • Requires high system resources
  • Lacks real-time cloud syncing
9

LiGRE

Best for qualitative data analysis in multiple languages

LiGRE users can get a free 1-year license by becoming a brand ambassador.

Pricing upon request

LiGRE is a multi-lingual web platform for analyzing qualitative data quickly. It allows you to design surveys to gather feedback, code important segments, and rank or weight your data. 

Why I picked LiGRE: This qualitative data analysis tool helps researchers transcribe, analyze, and organize complex datasets. It uses advanced tools to automate the transcription process and supports categorization and coding of data.

Other features include robust data visualization options that allow data to be presented in many different ways. The software also includes a range of collaboration tools that make it easy for teams to work together, regardless of where the team members are located. 

LiGRE Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include AI-powered transcription and deep thematic analysis. The software also offers a Memo feature which allows researchers to jot down thoughts, ideas, reflections, and interpretations. This happens directly within the software during data analysis. LiGRE also supports data analysis in multiple languages, making it a useful tool for international research.

For automated transcription, LiGRE supports over 40 languages, from Afrikaans to Vietnamese. This includes support for transcribing and codiying data in right-to-left languages like Arabic and Hebrew.

LiGRE integrates readily with the most popular word processing software, making it easy to import and export textual data. Multiple audio and video file types can be imported, and integrations with cloud storage platforms ensure efficient and secure data management. 

Pros

  • Multilingual data analysis
  • Effective collaborative features
  • Integrated memo function

Cons

  • Limited non-text data analysis
  • No offline functionality
10

Reframer

Best end-to-end tool for your entire qualitative research workflow

Free plan available

From $208/user/month (billed annually)

Qualitative research processes can get confusing and overwhelming, which is why Reframer has become a popular tool. This software provides a single app to handle your entire qualitative research workflow, from conducting interviews and capturing observations, through to tagging and visualizing data. 

Why I picked Reframer: Reframer is a useful tool for teams or individuals conducting qualitative research. Acting as a centralized platform, it is ideal for managing user interviews and usability testing. The software is also equipped with robust tagging and segmentation capabilities.

Using Reframer, you can visualize group observations, explore connections between tags, and discover patterns within the theme builder. The software also promotes collaborative work by allowing guest notetakers during interview sessions. 

Reframer Standout Features and Integrations:

Standout features include the ability to record observations from usability tests and interviews, then tag these for easier analysis. The theme builder helps you group observations based on the tags they contain, so you can identify overarching themes or patterns. 

The built-in visualization tools include an affinity map, chord diagrams, and bubble charts. Using these, you can explore connections between tags, and show your observations in a way that’s easy to understand. 

Regarding integrations, Reframer offers an .xls export option, allowing the software to be used in conjunction with a variety of data analysis or spreadsheet applications. These include Google Sheets, Excel, and advanced statistical software. 

Pros

  • Comprehensive qualitative research workflow
  • Powerful segmentation and tagging
  • Visualizes data via various charts

Cons

  • Tagging system may introduce bias
  • Theme builder requires tag refinement
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Other Options

Here are some other contenders that didn’t quite make my list, but may be a great fit for your particular use case:

  1. Thematic

    Best for turning unstructured data into actionable insights

  2. Dovetail

    Best for creating an insights hub to resurface findings

  3. webQDA

    Best for analyzing data in a distributed environment

  4. Atlas.ti

    Best for OpenAI integration

  5. Monkey Learn

    Best for no-code text analytics

  6. Glimpse

    Best for a self-serve human research platform

  7. Raven’s Eye

    Best for intelligent natural language analysis

  8. HyperRESEARCH

    Best for a flexible, cross-platform tool

  9. Delve

    Best for finding rigorous, human insights quickly

  10. Square Feedback

    Best for analyzing private customer feedback

Selection Criteria for Qualitative Data Analysis Software

Here’s a short summary of the main selection and evaluation criteria I used to develop my list of the best qualitative data analysis software for this article:

Core Functionalities

There are some key attributes that are a ‘must have’ for every tool in this sector. Here’s my list of non-negotiable criteria for this niche:

  • Coding: Any QDAS must allow users to tag and categorize data with labels that indicate trends, themes, or patterns. 
  • Data visualization: All software in this sector must be able to create charts, models, or graphs to show relationships and patterns within the data.

Key Features

Here are some other key features that I looked for in this type of software:

  • Data Retrieval: QDAS should offer quick access to data segments linked to a particular code, or to a specific set of codes.
  • Linking: A good tool will also support the creation of associations between data segments, or between notes and data, to promote data coherence and holistic analysis.
  • Reporting: The software should also allow users to generate outputs such as tables, graphs, or detailed reports that can be shared or presented.
  • Content analysis: The ability to parse through text data, such as with word clouds or sentiment analysis.
  • Voice analysis: Tools to analyze video files and audio files, for example with transcription and the ability to add annotations.

Usability

Qualitative data analysis software should present a user-friendly interface that allows both new and experienced users to find their way around easily. The best tools also offer robust learning resources, tutorials, and guides, so users can make the most of the software’s capabilities and resolve technical issues quickly.

Software Integrations

Software in this category must also integrate with popular data collection and management tools, facilitating the import and export of data. It should be compatible with popular platforms (such as Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems), as well as with commonly-used formats such as spreadsheets, text files, audio, video, survey tools, and cloud storage. 

Data Security

With hacking on the rise, high levels of data security and privacy are critical, especially as qualitative data often contains sensitive information. The analytics software must implement rigorous encryption protocols, secure backup options, and sound user authentication. Companies should be confident that they’re protected against unauthorized access or data loss. 

Scalability

Growing companies need to be sure their software solutions can scale with them. So QDAS needs to accommodate increasing complexity and data volumes. It should ensure consistent performance and usability regardless of the scale of research.

People Also Ask

Here are answers to the questions I’m most often asked about qualitative data analysis software:

What is qualitative data?

Qualitative data is descriptive, non-numerical information that may be derived from audio, video, text, or images. This customer data is commonly used to provide deeper insights into topics through observed attributes and characteristics.  This type of data is often used in fields such as market research and social sciences, where themes and patterns can be identified in collected data. These are then interpreted, to help in understanding concepts, behaviors, experiences, and opinions.

How can analyzing qualitative data help me improve my user experience?

By analyzing qualitative data, you can gain deep insights into the behaviors, pain points, and needs of your customers. You will gain an understanding of what is happening and why this occurred. 

You can then leverage this knowledge to guide enhancements to your products and services. This will ultimately lead to a more satisfying customer experience that meets the expectations of your audience.

What is sentiment analysis?

Also known as opinion mining, sentiment analysis uses text analysis, natural language processing, and computational linguistics to understand the emotional tone behind words. 

This technique is frequently used in brand monitoring, social media monitoring, and the gathering of customer feedback. Sentiment analysis helps companies understand consumer attitudes and reactions to a specific brand or product.

Customer Data Analysis Trends for 2023 and Beyond

Turning to customer and user data to inform your product, marketing, sales, and support strategies is essential in 2023. And the drive to dig deeper into both qualitative and quantitative data is only growing stronger. NewVantage Partners’ 2023 Big Data and AI Executive Survey turned to data executives from over 116 companies for insights into their functions and priorities. The results showed that leading into 2023:

  • 93.9% of organizations planned to increase their overall investment in data,
  • 79.7% of organizations planned to increase their investment in data products,
  • 82.0% of organizations planned to increase their investment in data modernization,
  • 80.5% of organizations planned to increase their investment in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), and
  • 78.7% of organizations planned to increase their investment in data quality.

Clearly, data analytics is a top priority for businesses. Another notable finding from the study was that data modernization was ranked as the primary area of investment by 40.7% of respondents. Qualitative analysis software providers have an important challenge ahead of them: building features and functionalities that support high quality, modern qualitative research and statistical analysis.

And this is confirmed by the 2023-2030 Data Analytics Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report by Grand View Research. The report indicates that the global data analytics market size is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 26.7% from 2023 to 2030.

So what does this mean for consumers (that’s you)? More options, more functionalities, and more features to leverage in your customer insights collection and analysis. As qualitative data analysis tools continue to evolve, I’ll be updating this list to reflect those changes! So if you’re not ready to purchase just yet, stay tuned.

Other Customer Analysis Tools 

Here are some more tools I recommend for getting the best out of customer analysis:

Final Thoughts

Qualitative data analysis software is of growing importance as a foundational business tool. By gaining a better understanding of how your customers feel you can increase customer satisfaction. This leads to greater loyalty and increased sales.

To stay up-to-date with the latest news from the world of data analysis and customer experience management, remember to sign up for our newsletter. And check out our related articles on this blog, too.

With the right qualitative data analysis software, you can set your company on the road to even greater success.