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AnSWR: Analysis Software for Word-based Records

Overview

AnSWR is a software system for coordinating and conducting large-scale, team-based analysis projects that integrate qualitative and quantitative techniques.  If you encounter any problems with installing, uninstalling, or running AnSWR or you just wish to send any comments about AnSWR please send an email describing the problem to answr@cdc.gov

Why Use AnSWR?

AnSWR has been designed to meet the following QDA needs:

  • Coordination of team-based qualitative data analysis
  • Management of large, complex qualitative databases
  • Fully integrated quantitative data components
  • Structured codebook development
  • Hierarchical coding structures
  • Text coding
  • Intercoder agreement assessments, including kappa
  • Flexible reporting options with multiple selection criteria (files, codes, coders, quantitative variables)
  • Output formats that facilitate import into both quantitative and qualitative programs

What is qualitative data analysis (QDA)?

QDA is a set of methods for organizing, displaying, processing, summarizing, and interpreting word and image-based information. At present, AnSWR only supports analysis of word-based data.

Study Tasks: The Big Picture

In AnSWR, a Study encompasses all of the data collected as part of a coordinated research program. It may include data collected in a variety of forms, e.g., observational notes, interview transcriptions, historical documents, standardized questionnaires. A Study includes tools for controlling who has access to the database and for assigning different levels of user rights to the research team.

Coordination of Study Responsibilities
AnSWR lets you control the type of access that members of the research team can have to the database. Access rights range from reporting to coding to administrative. The fully customizable coder/analyst data table can be used to maintain key information on team members' skills and responsibilities.

Creation of Study Data-Linking Elements
Who or what are the sources of information for this study?

Determine who, where, what are the sources of the data to be analyzed. The sources are stored in the Social Demographics table that is fully customizable.

What codes describe over-arching issues for this study?
A Study Codebook can be created to standardize coding of key issues across all analysis tasks. Selected codes may be locked by the Study Administrator so that they remain consistent throughout the study.

External Documents
AnSWR lets you establish links to text documents stored anywhere on your system or on the World Wide Web.

Project Tasks: Achieving Objectives

Within an AnSWR Study, a Project serves to coordinate coding and reporting activities related to a specific objective, e.g., index coding of text to facilitate retrieval for in-depth analysis of selected data for publication. A single Study generally encompasses a number of focused Projects.

Statement of Project Objective
Outline your specific goals and objectives, to ensure that Project team members stay on track.

Information Sources
For analysis in AnSWR, information needs to be saved as an ASCII Text file. Through the use of IDs embedded in the text, information sources can be identified and linked to data tables that describe those sources in both quantitative and qualitative terms. Sources may be of many types, e.g., a person, a government agency, a news agency.

Coding
Coding is a process by which qualitative data analysts systematically organize their comprehension of meaning in the data and its interpretation.

Data Processing
As the ASCII Text files are coded, a simple data processing step allows the coder to add codes and coding notes to the Project database.

Reporting Tasks: Getting Answers

Flexible selection criteria give the AnSWR reporting window great flexibility in the generation of reports. Types of reports currently available include:

  • Codebooks (with hierarchies)
  • Coder and Source profiles
  • Code percentages
  • Intercoder agreement
  • Binary and valued matrices summarizing code/source relationships
  • Study, Project, and Text Coding notes
  • Text output

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