Atlas.ti is software for coding and exploring qualitative data. It has a number of advanced features, but my recommendation when you're starting out is to ignore the bells and whistles and focus just on the core tasks of analyzing qualitative data.
This guide outlines those core tasks, with links to the relevant section of the user manual and a few tips and tricks I've picked up--mainly things I learned the hard way and want to help you avoid.
Feel free to reach out to me as you're working on this project. I'm here to advise, consult, troubleshoot, commiserate, cheerlead, or whatever else you need via Zoom, email, or in person.
1. Prepare your documents for import by giving them short, meaningful, unique filenames. Establish a filenaming convention that makes sense for your project. For interview studies like the ones you're all doing I might do something like this:
2. Bring your data into Atlas.ti.
3. Attach transcripts to audio recordings. Double click on a recording to open it, then select Import Transcript from the top menu. From here you can either import an existing transcript (e.g., from an AI transcript service) or you can import a blank file which you'll use to manually transcribe the recording within Atlas.ti.
***IMPORTANT NOTE!!! I'm including audio files in this workshop so I can show you how Atlas.ti handles them. But there are some privacy concerns you would need to take into account--a person's voice can be personally identifying, or they may share information that can't be easily redacted. Depending on your project, it may not be appropriate to name your audio files like this or to associate them with other documents in Atlas.ti.
The mechanics of coding your data are simple. And therein lies the challenge--it's so easy to create and store new codes that they can proliferate past what you can reasonably use. Here are my strategies for avoiding that scenario: