Issues for consideration when choosing a qualitative data management system

J Adv Nurs. 1993 Nov;18(11):1806-16. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2648.1993.18111806.x.


A primary issue in conducting qualitative research is the time required for data analysis. Qualitative research can be costly, since data analysis is generally labour intensive and our time factors into money. There is, unfortunately, no magic formula for hastening the conceptual tasks associated with qualitative analysis, yet effective qualitative data management systems (QDMS) expedite the mechanical tasks, those tasks associated with storing and retrieving qualitative data. Rapid and smooth data management increases the time one can allot to data analysis. Although computer QDMS are increasingly recommended for their time-saving potential in relation to data management, some significant issues associated with the adoption of a computer versus a manual QDMS have not yet been fully explored. The purpose of this paper is to present major issues researchers should consider in choosing a computer or a manual QDMS. These issues include availability and accessibility, comfort, appropriateness, efficiency, thoroughness and contextualization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Data Collection / methods
  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Database Management Systems* / economics
  • Efficiency
  • Humans
  • Nursing Research*
  • Software