Our expertise and experience lie at the junction of Information Technology and Social Science Research. With this unique combination of skill sets we are uniquely placed to help researchers using all kinds of qualitative data to take full advantage of computer tools in managing large volumes of data.
BarraQDA specialises in innovative approaches to computer assisted mixed-methods and qualitative research. We know that researchers want to focus on the content of their work, which all too often means that they leave the vital work of managing their data to chance. By engaging a specialist in this aspect of research management, you save yourself the time and energy while ensuring that the job is done professionally and often faster than you could do it yourself. Our expertise and experience in data science, information technology and research in the social sciences means that we understand your needs and priorities and how to make technology work for you.
BarraQDA’s NVivotools provides a way for NVivo users to access and build research data as they like while still using NVivo when they choose. Its uses include archiving data, time-saving data modification procedures, interfacing with other IT systems and producing novel reports from the data.
BarraQDA’s twitterScrape provides a simple but powerful way to mine, process and visualise Twitter data. Its key advantage is its ability to harvest data not only through Twitter’s API but by ‘scraping’ the Web interface directly. This allows you to avoid the limitations that Twitter imposes on users of its API, most significantly the 3,200 limit on a user’s tweets, and the one-to-two week searchable history. With twitterScrape, you can retrieve millions of tweets extending as far back as Twitter’s day zero: 21 March 2006.
Unlike almost all Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis Software (CAQDAS), BarraQDA is Free and Open Source. You might say that these are the software equivalent of Creative Commons in other creative arts. In short, what they mean is that all our work can be freely distributed and modified with the sole proviso that any copies or modifications thereby created be subject to the same requirements.
As researchers, we spend interminable hours collecting the raw materials for our work – data (qualitiative data that is). Many of us then proceed to spend still further interminable hours coding that data into one of the several Qualitative Data Analysis (QDA) computer applications. In the process we create more data – lots of it. At that point, most of us effectively hand over the keys to that data to the owners of those applications. That is, we authorise the application to be the only means of accessing the data. This is a problem because: