Collaboration, team-work and qualitative project sharing

Quirkos Cloud is one of the few qualitative data analysis software packages to allow live, unlimited collaboration and project sharing. It's not an extra add-on, it's available to all users without any additional costs. There are no limits...

Collaboration, team-work and qualitative project sharing

When working on qualitative analysis projects, you often need to collaborate on projects, so you can code and analyse together, or share work with supervisors, or participants. It can help share the work load, but also lead to better analysis.

Quirkos Cloud is one of the few qualitative data analysis software packages to allow live, unlimited collaboration and project sharing. It's not an extra add-on, it's available to all users without any additional costs. There are no limits on the number of projects you can store, share or limits on data storage, and collaborators can work on Windows, Mac or Linux, with no differences in features or compatibility.

There are a lot of qualitative software packages (CAQDAS) that now claim to offer team-work and collaboration. NVivo and MAXQDA are two examples, but both of their collaboration features are based on working offline, and then having to merge projects together, with a upload and file sharing service that works similar to Dropbox. This is an extra cost of hundreds of dollars a year, and still has restrictions on the number of collaborators, projects or data storage. Everything on Quirkos Cloud is unlimited and is available to all users with no extra services to sign up for. Dedoose is another platform that allows this unlimited team work, so there is no need to compromise!

So, what does this live collaboration mean for project work? Well, while it's fun to see other people's work pop up live, the main thing is that it greatly simplifies the team-work process. You don't need to plan when to work, or who can work at any time, and you don't need to set 'deadlines' when you will merge everyone's work together and then send out to everyone to work on again. For PIs (or more likely, poor post-docs with the admin duties) everyone just works whenever they like. Quirkos logs each person's contributions, so you can see (even with side by side comparisons) everyone's work, and where there are agreements and differences.

It doesn't solve all the team working issues though: there is still a need to set everyone clear roles and ensure things like a codebook are comprehensive enough that everyone understands the codes, and how the process will work. We've got a dedicated blog post article on managing some of the human and communication factors.

Quirkos also has unique features like the integrated live chat (which works just like any other instant messenger service), so you can discuss with your collaborators live, or leave messages to read when they next log in. Although you don't have to use the chat, one of the main advantages of team-work is getting input and feedback from multiple 'coders' and interpreters during the process. The chat can not only help facilitate this discussion, but also keep a record of it. When it comes to writing up, it can show which issues or codes were contentious, and why certain decisions were made.

But Quirkos Cloud has also made work for teams and individuals a lot easer over the last few years of stop-start COVID-19 restrictions. With Quirkos Cloud, anywhere you login (at home, in the office, on a laptop) everyone has access to the most recent version of the data, and can pick up from where they (or others) left off. As more people need to find ways to work virtually, Quirkos allows a tangible process with colours and team-work that's about as close as many can get right now to working round a table with transcripts, highlighters and Post-it notes.

And even for students working individually on projects for assignments or dissertations, it's easy to share projects with a supervisor or tutor, wherever and whenever they are working. Many classes have also started using Quirkos alongside virtual seminars and Zoom/Teams workshops to teach and demonstrate qualitative analysis. Demoing a method, getting students to try it out, and then re-convening to discuss their interpretations is a great way to practice and retain analytic skills. So a platform where everyone can see and share the results (and go off and do more in their own time) really helps.

These are some of the reasons that so many Universities and research groups have moved over to Quirkos in the last year. Either they were not able to collaborate properly in their existing CAQDAS software, or needed to move to remote work. Quirkos Cloud makes sharing qualitative research projects easy, and you can see for yourself with the free trial of the full version, with no restrictions and all the features. Or you can watch collaboration in action, read more about Quirkos Cloud or drop us an email to ask any questions!