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.
Key points in a research project where we can be of service include:
To get the most out of information technology, you need to plan for its use right from the start. Good research design ensures a proper match between your data collection procedures and the analysis and interpretation that you subsequently apply to it. We can help with the design of your project so that the technology works for you and not the other way around.
Your research data is the raw material for your research and, unlike the theories and methods that you apply to it, cannot be reproduced. Moreover, it may include be sensitive or confidential components that need to be protected by security protocols including encryption and access restrictions. It is therefore vital to treat your data with the highest degree of caution to ensure both its availability for analysis and protection against loss or compromise. Our experience and use of Open Source software means that you can be confident in the integrity of our data management.
Data collection, analysis and interpretation
Today, there exists a large and ever-growing number of freely available software libraries for all kinds of data processing. Examples include social media data mining APIs, pattern searching with SPARQL and Natural Language processing to perform high level tasks such as automated translation and sentiment analysis. The main difficulty now is interfacing such libraries with their data – that is, transferring data between the various systems. Here, once again, Open Source software is invaluable because you can take it apart to understand how it works and improve or extend it to suit your purposes. We are experts in building the ‘middleware’ or pipes through which your data travels from one application to another.
Presenting your conclusions
Like the data collection and analysis phases of your research, making a compelling presentation of your arguments depends critically on being able to mobilise your data. We know how to present your data to illustrate and support your arguments, using visualisation techniques and live data querying to give your audience a clear view on your data and analysis.