Wait…So what is the ‘cloud’ again?

The cloud, or cloud computing can be a confusing thing. We are not talking about the weather, but a place that information is stored and can be interacted with.

The term ‘the cloud’ can be loosely thought of as the Internet. Information in the cloud is stored on servers belonging to and maintained by others—not directly on your local computer.

If you have used Gmail or Yahoo to access your email, watched videos on YouTube, used Netflix, or paid a bill online, then you have used a web application that is operating in the cloud.

While there are different types of cloud computing, suffice it to say that:

  1. Dedoose is Software as a Service (SaaS), which is an application running in the cloud that we develop and provide access to when you are interacting with your data and
  2. Dedoose currently lives on the Microsoft Azure Cloud environment. Azure is a Platform as a Service (PaaS) where we develop and run all Dedoose services.

The big advantages of using cloud services include:

  1. Low subscription costs
  2. Pay as you go
  3. Dedoose is built, maintained, upgraded for you–you’ll never have to upgrade, patch, maintain, transfer to a new computer, …
  4. Very rapid development and deployment of new features
  5. Integration and scalability—you should see how we’ve been growing and where we’ll be going next
  6. You can work anywhere on any computer.

The biggest concerns about cloud services include:

  1. Data security—(of huge importance and you can learn more about Dedoose security practices here: http://www.dedoose.com/terms/#SECURITY). Less and less a concern these days for many—how do you feel about banking online? Nonetheless, a valid concern
  2. Connectivity—yes, you need Internet access to use Dedoose…at least for now
  3. Downtime—services can go off line for a variety of reasons which can cause some level of inconvenience, but Dedoose’s up-time exceeds 99.99% over the last year

Check out more about Dedoose and the cloud as this blog.

Making the Most Out of Memos in Your Research

As the “core stage of grounded theory methodology” (Glaser 1998), memoing is instrumental in images (1)developing codes systems directly from your data. In this line of inquiry, memos usually include commentary or insight related to codes, ideas concerning possible relationships between codes, or descriptions of particular events or settings. However, memoing is not limited to grounded theory and can be useful in all types of qualitative inquiries.

Given its free-flowing nature, memoing allows the researcher to log his or her thoughts in relation to the project during research and reflection thereafter. Through this process, memos provide insight into not only the research in question, but also into the researcher’s research methods.

How does Dedoose fit into all of this? Dedoose supports the memoing tradition by including a modernized memo system accessible anywhere within Dedoose at anytime. In addition to tracking independent ideas, Dedoose also allows for memos to be directly linked to source materials, excerpts, codes, and/or descriptors. Memos themselves can also be directly converted to code-able source material, perfect for analyzing field notes or other reflective documentation. Take a dive into our memoing system and see how you can begin using memos today!

Dedoose Delivery

 

Full PDF and Image Support in Latest Dedoose Release

Dedoose 7 is here and we are thrilled to introduce some GREAT new features and other HUGE improvements.Dedoose Muscle

First up, NATIVE IMAGE AND PDF excerpting and coding.  Let’s take a look…

PDF Coding

In the past, Dedoose had some OCR technology that would work to convert PDFs to inline documents for excerpting and tagging.  Given OCR limitations, this approach brought with it some less than desirable issues.  Tables or images in a PDF would be brought in as images, but the content of the image could not be excerpted or tagged. Further, the loss of formatting was also problematic for some files.

Now, however, Dedoose 7 is here and it’s a real game changer.  After a tremendous amount of work, our awesome Tech Team has now added image based PDF and image importing, excerpting, and coding capabilities.  To bring you the best of both worlds, you now have the option to importing PDFs as native image-based media or make use of the OCR technology to import the file as a document-based media. Enough chat; let’s get to importing some PDFs as images!

  1. Click Import Data
  2. Click Import PDFCLICKPDF
  3. Select whether you want it to be imported using either the image based or document based processorIMPORTPDF
  4. Click Submit
  5. Locate your PDF file (or files) on your local computer and click Open to upload
  6. Open a PDF file you wish to excerpt just like accessing other media in Dedoose
  7. Grab a region of the PDF that you wish to code by defining a rectangular section and you’ve create a image excerpt…and note that the excerpted region can be moved or resized
  8. Double click or drag and drop codes to apply them just like with any excerpting
  9. Finally, you can zoom in or out and move through the PDF page by page or by jumping to a particular page.pdf image for blog

For more information on Image based PDFs, check out our Help Center page on PDF coding at:

What can I do with an image based PDF file?

Image Coding

Previous to Dedoose 7, you could only paste images into documents to import to Dedoose, so you could see them but not excerpt the image itself.  Well, now the sky’s the limit.  After a tremendous amount of work, our awesome Tech Team has now added native image importing, excerpting, and coding. Let’s take a walk through importing and coding an image:

  1. Click Import Data
  2. Click Import ImagesCLICKIMAGE
  3. Select the images you want to import….jpg, png, bmp, or gif formats will work
  4. Click Open
  5. Dedoose will automatically open the image you just uploaded or let you know they are all imported if you imported more than oneIMAGESSAVED SUCCESSFULLY

Now that your images are in, let’s get to coding!

  1. If not already in view, open a PDF file you wish to excerpt just like accessing other media in Dedoose
  2. Grab a region of the image that you wish to code by defining a rectangular section and you’ve create a image excerpt…and note that the excerpted region can be moved or resized
  3. Double click or drag and drop codes to apply them just like with any excerpting
  4. Finally, you can zoom in or out on the image using the zoom controlsIMAGESAMPLE

For more information on image coding, check out our Help Center article on Image Coding at:

What can I do with an image file?

AND MORE

Beyond the wonderful new PDF and image handing, we’ve made some major upgrades to Dedoose’s Application Server Infrastructure to increase throughput i.e. it can do more at once… a LOT MORE.  What does this mean for you?  Much snappier response times, fewer if any application hangs, far fewer of the ‘errors’ that can pop up, and overall Dedoose to handle much more user demand than ever before.

Free Dedoose Demos

LogoSquarishMedium (1)

Our team at Dedoose offers free Dedoose demos for new and prospective users. That said, if you need a quick refresher course, you are also welcome! Below are the registration links for the next few weeks. Feel free to share these with friends and colleagues. The more the merrier!

We also do free topical webinars. We are looking for topics! Email [email protected] with ideas! Continue reading

Sentiment Analysis and Code Weighting in Dedoose—What Can it do for You?

Code weighting in Dedoose can be used in many different ways and we’ve seen some incredible creativity of how this has been used in the Dedoose user community. Using the weight system to analyze sentiment rating is one example of a frequently used approach.

Basically, the code weighting feature allows you to not just apply a code to an excerpt, but also apply a value that represents some dimension.  On the surface, it appears you are simply applying a number, but this number can represent anything based on your definition.

An example in sentiment analysis might be that you use a 1 to 5 scale to represent how positive some is evaluating something where 1=‘Very Negative’ and 5 = ‘Very Positive.’  But this is only one simple example. These scales can represent importance, quality, strength of conviction …anything you can overlay on a numerical dimension.  Wherever the weight system can be employed, you can explore entirely unique dimensions in your data and do some very cool things analytically.  So use your imagination and think about how you can use this great Dedoose feature to look more deeply into your data.

For more information on sentiment weighting, you’ll find more details in this earlier blog.

Dedoose Updates!

The most recent updates to Dedoose are now live! Here are just a few of the highlights that you may come across—many of which are modifications and/or requests we received from the Dedoose user community.  Thanks and we always welcome your feedback.Heart Dedoose

  • Code trees with a hierarchical structure (e.g., with child codes, grandchild codes, …) will now load in a collapsed form by default. The code tree will also stay in its same collapsed state after editing a child code
  • The option to convert a child code to a parent code or to move to a new parent code is now available when editing the code (see ‘Reparent’ or ‘Make Root’) in addition to the existing drag-and-drop functionality
  • To retroactively up-code, you can now double-click the stair (up-coding) icon or, as before, holding your Shift Key and then clicking the icon
  • When entering the password to open encrypted projects the characters are not displayed.

Enjoy the new updates and keep the suggestions coming so we can include as many as possible in upcoming updates!

Importing Data into Dedoose! An Easy Way to Enter your Data.

Preparing and importing your data in Dedoose is one of the most important parts of having a productive project.  Without data, there is nothing to interact with or analyze. This post is to offer some specific guidance for importing data that you may have prepared outside of Dedoose (or have received from another Dedoose user).

Codes

You can always manually set up your codes within Dedoose by clicking the ‘Edit Codes’ icon in the code tree panel header and then clicking the ‘Add Root Code’ icon.

But what if you have so many codes that it would just take too long or you already have the code information stored in a spreadsheet that someone exported from Dedoose or that you worked up directly in Excel?

This is an example of what the spreadsheet may look like if exported from Dedoose and the required format for importing to a Dedoose project.

1

Let’s break it down:

Id column – This is a sequential identification number that needs to unique identify each code.

Parent Id – This column will store the Id number for the associated Parent/Root code if the particular code is a Child/Subordinate of another. This is what creates a hierarchical structure.

Depth – This tells Dedoose at which level in a hierarchy the code lives.  Note the following:

  • A parent code always has depth 0
  • A child code will have depth 1
  • A grandchild will have depth 2 and so on and so forth.

Title – This is the name of your code.

Description – This is a short optional description of your code that will show up as a smart tip when you float your cursor over the code in Dedoose.

Weighted – This tells Dedoose if your code has an associated weighting/rating system (‘True’ where you have one defined or ‘False’). The subsequent columns describe your weighting system:

  • Weight Minimum – the minimum value for the range of the scale
  • Weight Maximum – the maximum value for the range of the scale
  • Weight Default – this is the default value that will be initially assigned initially when the code is applied to an excerpt.

Descriptor Fields

What about your Descriptor fields? This is another aspect of your data that might be cumbersome to enter manually, especially if already stored in a spreadsheet. Let’s walk through it referencing the sample export format below:

sdf

Field – This is the title for that particular descriptor field.

Memo – This is a short optional description of the field that will appear in a smart tip when floating over the field in Dedoose.

Type – This will tell Dedoose how you want to represent the data for the particular field.  Dedoose descriptor fields can take one of four types: List (or categorical type), Number, Text (or string type), or Date.  Note that only List, Number, and Date type fields will be available in many of the Dedoose visualizations that populate off of these data.  Further, we recommend maximizing use of List types to assure the fullest control over these interactive visualizations.

Options – If your field is a List type, the possible valid values need to be listed here and comma separated.

IsDynamic – This tells Dedoose whether or not your field is to be set as Dynamic.  (For more information on Dynamic Descriptors check this blog out http://bit.ly/1FvgK3S).

Descriptor Data

Finally, what about importing your Descriptor Data?

2

Importing your descriptor data is simple if you have your data in an Excel file.  Make sure the column headers are an identical match to the descriptor field definition titles.

Note that there is not a problem with missing data and those cells will simply be blank in Dedoose. You might wonder why the Phase column is blank. ‘Phase’ is a dynamic field and you will be prompted to select the value for any dynamic fields when you link that descriptor to a media file.

Finally, with regard to descriptor fields and data, our survey import tool is a great time saver if your data are clearly identifiable as descriptor data versus narrative content.  Under these circumstances, you can simply import the spreadsheet directly and the importer will automatically define the descriptor fields and create the descriptors all in one sweep.  Here’s a link to more on this great feature….read on!

Finally, finally, if at all helpful, we have attached 3 templates with the basic required fields below: one for the code tree, one for descriptor fields, and one for descriptor data.

Codes_Template

Descriptor_Fields_Template 

Descriptor_Data_Template

Feel free to download and add your own information or just us it for a reference.

Have fun Dedoosing!

Survey Underway on the Use of Technology Use in Qualitative and Mixed Methods Research

Hi Everyone,

We’ve been invited to help spread the word on a survey looking at the use of technology in qualitative and mixed methods research.  The investigation is exploring issues close to our Dedoose hearts and so we are reaching out to see if we can help make this a successful project.  A few of us have taken the survey and find it extremely interesting and thought provoking.

Please consider participating…be a part of this important study!

Here is everything you’ll need to know…and all posted on behalf of Dr. Michelle Salmona.

Dr. Michelle Salmona (Australian National University) is seeking survey participants to help with her research, and you are now invited to participate in this study which is trying to better understand how researchers use technology in their qualitative or mixed methods research and data analysis. Please feel free to share this survey link with your colleagues to ensure a well-rounded sample of researchers. Estimated time for completion is 15-20 minutes (time will vary depending on your responses).

Please note that every response is important and it would be wonderful if you would please take the time to help by contributing your thoughts on this issue. Your participation in this survey is completely voluntary and anonymous. The full participant information sheet can be accessed when taking the survey.

Please use this link to complete the survey:

http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2200641/Technology-Adoption

Queries and Concerns:
For any additional information or to have any questions answered, please contact:
Dr. Michelle Salmona
RSFAS, College of Business & Economics
Australian National University
E-mail: [email protected]

Ethics Committee Clearance:
The ethical aspects of this research have been approved by the ANU Human Research Ethics Committee.  If you have any concerns or complaints about how this research has been conducted, please contact:
Ethics Manager
The ANU Human Research Ethics Committee
The Australian National University
Telephone: +61 2 6125 3427
Email: [email protected]

Dedoose Alert: Chrome Update Issue.

Dear Dedoose Community.

We wanted to bring your attention to a Chrome issue we have discovered. A recent Chrome update has created widespread download problems.  Until Google puts a fix in place, please use another browser or, better, our desktop app to access Dedoose. The instructions to download the desktop app are here: www.dedoose.com/blog/tag/dedoose-desktop-app/

Our best,

Everyone at Dedoose Central