About Us Overview
‘Necessity,’ yet again, the ‘Mother of Invention.’ Eli Lieber, Ph.D., a research psychologist, started working Thomas S. Weisner, Ph.D., an anthropologist, at the UCLA Center for Culture in Health back in the late 1990s. Together, they co-direct a Lab that engages in and supports research where qualitative and/or mixed methods are being used. People who had tried traditional qualitative data analysis software were abandoning. Instead, tag, search, and retrieve macros in Word did most of what they needed and that was way cheaper and much easier to learn. So for mixed methods projects, survey data were being crunched in stats programs and, then, very manually, mapped to the qualitative results where charts could be built in Excel. The trend?—more and more mixed methods studies, people work on PCs and Macs—some barely comfortable with a word processor, and research teams spread out across the country.
How to do all this more efficiently and effectively?
The Internet was then showing itself to be a great place start answering that very question.
We had the concept and began cobbling something together and the computer scientists told us to, ‘go build it yourself.’ Handed it to Jason Taylor, an outstanding and innovative programmer, and, BAM, you’ve got Dedoose.
To us, it is all about doing Great Research with maximum effectiveness and efficiency. As proud as we are to bring you a fantastic research tool, we are much more than Dedoose. We are experts in supporting all aspects of research and we believe strongly in the value of research that employs innovative, systematic, and rigorous methods. Finally, we are your gateway to a network of professional researchers with methodological and applied experience and expertise.
We are first and foremost a team of professionally trained and active social science researchers with decades of experience using psychological and anthropological research methods. We work at the cutting-edge of mixed methods research design, implementation, and qualitative analysis. In the late 1990s, as increasing amounts of mixed methods research was being carried out, we found ourselves challenged by the lack of tools and technologies available to meet our research needs
How were we going to efficiently manage, share, and analyze the increasing amounts of data being collected by members of often geographically distributed teams
No software or other technological solutions was addressing the challenges we faced, so we pondered what a solution would look like
Key Issues included:
- Team members responsible for different tasks, with varying levels of computer savvy
- People working on different computer platforms
- Researchers working from varying epistemological positions
- Qualitative data taking varying forms and the need to integrate survey, test, demographic and other data collected in mixed method projects
- Limited resources including, budgets, time, and skill sets
Further, people were abandoning traditional qualitative data analysis software because they were expensive, complicated to learn and use, and included many features not deemed necessary or useful, particularly as more mixed method and collaborative approaches became the gold standard.
The Solution needed to be:
- Intuitive—easy to start using and having accessible features throughout
- Fluid in integrating different types of data
- Platform independent
- Rich with mixed method data management and analysis features
Nothing existed that came close to meeting our needs, so we decided to build something for ourselves to make our own lives easier and our work more efficient. EthnoNotes for Filemaker Pro was born and it worked! Even better, people loved what we were building and gave great feedback on how we could continue to build it out.
FileMaker Pro was soon too limiting and the computer science consultants all told us, ‘Hey, you know what you want, so just go build it yourself.’
Find a bunch of money, find a Jason Taylor, lock him in a room with Eli for countless hours to creatively problem solve and design and BAM! EthnoNotes the RIA (Rich Internet Application—web-application) was completed and delivered.
Bring on a rapidly growing user community filled with super happy researchers and we knew we had created something of great value. The problem for us was that we were still a (really) small company and as we watched technologies advance, we knew we wanted so much more from EthnoNotes.
So what next?
Gut check, solve some finance challenges, find the right people, and up the game.
Done! And, where are we today?
Today we are delighted to bring you Dedoose, “Great Research Made Easy.” Dedoose takes advantage of the absolute frontier of Internet technologies and delivers a powerful, feature-rich, collaborative, inexpensive web-application. We’ve learned a lot along the way. Dedoose does everything that users loved in EthnoNotes and so much more—more intuitive, faster, more transparent, easier to learn, rapid evolution, and it is so very very cool.