Dedoose Blog


Descriptors and Your Qualitative Data Analysis – Part 1: The Lingo


An intro to those devilish descriptors:

It seems that there is often confusion about descriptors – what they are and how to use them in your mixed methods or qualitative data analysis. Descriptors are powerful. They allow you to break out your qualitative work across demographic and other survey data for greater insights.  When using descriptors in your qualitative data analysis, in addition to being able to analyze media files, you are able to break out the information that describes the source of your media files to see things from different perspectives and introduce new dimensions to your analysis. And since Dedoose allows for multiple sets of descriptors, you can add as many levels of analysis as your study needs.

Since descriptors are simply too powerful for you to ignore, or worse, use incorrectly, we are going to take this slow and steady. And we will count on your feedback and questions along the way. Most of the questions about descriptors we receive in the forum, on Facebook, Twitter, and via email are rooted in a lack of understanding of key terms and where to find them in Dedoose. So that is where we will start.

Our descriptor series will have multiple parts beginning with Part 1: The Lingo. Here we will give a brief overview of descriptors as well as a glossary, and image map showing where to find each key term in Dedoose. Next week we will be looking at how to create, delete, and edit descriptors manually. If you have any tips, tricks, or questions on this topic send them our way and we will do our best to address them in the coming weeks! Find the full part one in our article here!!

What’s Next?

In our riveting new series, Descriptors Part 2: The manual guide to adding/deleting/editing descriptors, we will explore the basics of creating descriptors within Dedoose. We will also be covering, importing and editing descriptors using Excel, dynamic descriptors, survey importers vs. descriptors, and how to optimize your use of data visualizations in the coming weeks… so stay tuned. Once again, if you have any tips, tricks, or questions about descriptors send them to [email protected] and we may include them in an upcoming blog post.  And as always, keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn!

Happy Dedoosing!