Dedoose takes mixed methods and qualitative research to the next level in 2012
One of the best things about being a web-based application is that we can listen to our users and respond with real and meaningful changes. We don’t just improve our service for the sake of improving. We do it because as researchers we care deeply about these improvements too. The updates we have made to Dedoose in 2012 showcase our dedication to meeting the needs of our users. So, as 2012 draws to a close, we look back on what we have accomplished here at Dedoose. And all we can say is….
What a difference a year can make!
2012 brought us fully integrated video and audio excerpting, the Dedoose Desktop App, updates to the application of Cohen’s Kappa, and brand new migration tools. What will come in 2013? We have a few ideas up our sleeve.
Best of 2012
Video and audio
One short year ago, users could only excerpt text documents. In January 2012, we launched our fully integrated video and audio support. That means everything you were able to do with text (e.g., excerpt, code, link to descriptors) you can now do with video and audio files. Simply upload your mp3 audio files or mp4 video files into Dedoose and get to work. You can upload a transcript if you have one, and then use Dedoose to match up your video or audio excerpts to your text easily. Or, if you know you will only need a small portion of your uploaded video, you can simply create a video or audio excerpt and transcribe your excerpt by typing directly into Dedoose. The codes will show in your mixed methods or qualitative research analysis in the same way they do when you excerpt and code your documents.
Throughout the year we have adjusted, tweaked, re-worked, and brought video and audio to fully integrated functionality. We hope you are just as excited as we are!
Of course, we are not stopping here. Video takes up a lot of storage space. That’s why there is a premium cost for streaming on a per project basis of $.75 per streaming hour (after the first free 30 minutes). We continue to innovate around increasing storage efficiency because we want all our “Dedoosers” to have the best video and audio capabilities at the lowest price possible. We are currently working hard to move to the Azure Network – meaning, fully in the cloud – which will allow us to drop this price to around $0.25 per hour.
As a web-based app, we have to continually innovate around changes to things outside our control. Browsers and computer systems are constantly making changes. We must stay on top of every edit to ensure that our service is adapting. So the 2012 Mac system changed drastically? Google Chrome chose not to update in the typical fashion? Fear not Dedoosers, we got it.
Enter the Desktop App!!!!!
The Dedoose Desktop App allows you to run Dedoose outside of the browser (though not yet fully offline). It also offers several performance and network enhancements not available in the web version. And the app continuously and automatically checks for updates to ensure you are always running the latest version.
If you don’t already have the Desktop App, try it out. Please note, you may have to download and install Adobe's Air Framework in order to run: http://get.adobe.com/air/. The app is available at https://app.dedoose.com/App/Air/Dedoose.air
Using something called Cohen’s Kappa Coefficient, Dedoose helps you make sure that everyone on your team is on the same page when it comes to applying codes. You can find two tests to help your research teams build and maintain stellar inter-rater reliability via the Training Center.
2012 saw an update in how Kappa is calculated in Dedoose. We believe this will yield a more robust result. Below is a more technical explanation of what has changed.
Each code's Kappa is calculated on a 2 x 2 matrix...coder 1 yes/no crossed by coder 2 yes/no. Each cell is populated based on the correspondence of code applications on an excerpt by excerpt basis. With the new approach, for an excerpt to be included in the Kappa calculation, at least one of the coders must have applied the code.
For example, regardless of how many excerpts are in the test, with code X only excerpts where one of the coders applied code X would be included in the Kappa calculation. While this approach can be argued from a number of directions, we feel this is a more conservative perspective on inter-rater agreement with more stringent calculations for Kappa. While other approaches can be considered correct, these requirements will demand more rigor in the team behavior.
And, finally, with codes where only one excerpt with the particular code was included in the test--yes/yes, yes/no, or no/yes, Kappa is not defined. As such, we’ve also decided to not allow these codes in a test and you’ll see a warning if you try to create a test with a code that does not qualify.
Cool, huh? We think so!
New migration tools
Dedoose has been growing at an amazing rate in 2012. We have seen more and more people transition to Dedoose from Nvivo, Atlas.ti, MaxQDA, HyperRESEARCH, CDC’s AnSWR, and the like, than ever before. We are committed to making that transition as quick and simple as possible. It doesn’t mean that you snap your fingers and your project moves from your old software to Dedoose (though we will talk with our chief architect about making that happen). It means that we have created new, effective migration tools from the ground up to make the process easier than ever.
And, if we don’t have the right tool for your migration, email us at [email protected] and we will build one for you.
So what does the coming year hold?
We will be working diligently on many aspects of Dedoose. This list below shows a few of our top priorities as we ring in the New Year.
- Native PDF support: At this time, all documents must be converted to text if you are going to be able to excerpt and tag content. While we have some technology built into Dedoose to assist, it isn’t always successful. In those cases we highly recommend the use of Nuance PDFConverter, from the makers of Dragon Speak. Also, we have an enterprise version in house and would be happy to batch convert them for you at no cost if you email the files to [email protected]. We continue to work on full PDF support within Dedoose and expect that update to be complete by the end of Q1 2013.
- Layering Descriptors: Currently, a descriptor can only be linked to 1 document. We have had requests for layered descriptors that can handle multiple speakers in one document.
- Pictures as Media: We have had users request images as a resource and we are committed to making it happen! For now, users can use hyperlinks to address coding pictures.
- Dedoose Offline: This will be incredibly helpful for those users conducting fieldwork in regions where internet is not strong, or for those jetsetters who are looking to work offline in airplane mode.
- Per Project Encryption: This new feature will allow users to enable their own encryption key for their projects adding another layer of security.
Keep in touch in 2013
We at Dedoose pride ourselves on responding to the needs of our users in real time. We are continually improving and growing based on the feedback you give us via the suggestion area of the user forum. The forum is the best place to share your ideas as it is the first place we look for guidance when we are developing new features.
In 2013 we will also be launching a “Dedoosers in the Field” series to highlight the research and accomplishments of our amazing users. You inspire us each day and deserve some attention on our blog. As we launch this series we will be reaching out to you for your stories!
Let’s make this 2013 the best year yet. From all of us at Dedoose, we wish you a very Happy New Year!;