Thursday, December 2, 2010

Dedoose Review

So I was on this qualitative study forum trying to do some research on qualitative analysis software.  I was reviewing the various kinds and someone suggested Dedoose.  I went on the website and I watched a couple of videos and tutorials.  I was sold!  It looked like it would help organize and sort some of my data and help me in the last push of this research project.  There was the 30-day free trial, so I would at least try it after spending 2 days on it (but logging in about 15 hrs on it) heres my review:

PROS:  Easy to use, pretty self explanatory, and lots of videos that help you learn how to use it fairly quickly.  Simple interface.  Web-based so you can be working anywhere there is a computer and internet. Great for coding and memos and works with different methodologies and also allows you to use quantitative data also.  I am pretty new to qualitative analysis software so this really made it easy for me.

CONS:  WEB-BASED That could be problematic if you are not near a place with a couple of international flights I'll be on, or any other number of places.

LOTS OF BUGS.  Granted its a new site (just about a month old), but my data keeps disappearing.  Customer support is polite and nice and warned me not to be overly concerned about loss data, it's not loss, it's just not presenting.  That's good to know, except I need not only on their server, BUT ALSO on my screen.  When their site is down or not functioning study and my deadlines don't function that properly.  I think it will be great, but there are too many bugs for me to handle when time is off the essence.  I have spent a lot of time and tears today waiting for my data to be recovered or redirected.

Also, they advertise INEXPENSIVE, though I don't find it so.  It is cheaper than other software packages for institutions, but not for a student.  A student can get MAXQDA or Atlas ti for $99 for 12 months; as opposed to $156 for Dedoose.  

Maybe down the line I may come back to it, I think it will be a good product eventually but for me on a time crunch, I need something that works 24 hrs a day, 6 days a week...that's when I'm working.


  1. I'm a grad student myself and taking a qualitative research methods class. Was considering Dedoose as I'm a Mac, but will probably use the trial version of HyperResearch first. Let them get the bugs worked out.

  2. thanks for the post. I'm giving it a try durring the free month, but I agree with you the whole web based thing is key. I don't want a server problem on their end suddenly become a major headache for me. I'm also a bit concerned by the lack of export options. What if I don't want to pay them $12 bucks a month for the rest of my life.

  3. Hi Andrea and thanks for your review! If you get a chance we would love if you could update or re-review. Since this article we massively overhauled Dedoose, fixing every logged bug we are aware of. We haven't had another report of momentary data loss for well over a month. If you still find some bugs we'd love to hear about it. Ricco - We are very open about the data and believe in full openness and transparency: you can import and export ALL project data in a variety of formats.

    Andrea regarding price: Keep in mind Dedoose is a Software as a Service, meaning you can pay for it when you use it. With the updated Billing system you can pay for a month at a time as you go. Your data will still be around as long as you are active for at least 1 month every 2 years. You can also export everything out at any time including during the 30 day window.

    Regarding solid internet connectivity. Yes this is a valid concern, in area's of the world where reliable internet is not an option Dedoose would not be the best choice. We are working on a off-line mode that would allow synchronization online.

    Also - We added the project real time chat system, and training center for inter-rater reliability recently which you can check out more on our blog over at

    We sincerely hope you have enjoyed Dedoose, and hope your experience has improved since our initial launch. Please let us know your feedback, we rely on it to keep improving Dedoose.

    ~ JT