Making Sense of Your Coded Data
So you’ve added a bunch of documents and images and episodes to Transana. You’ve developed a set of keywords that represent your coding system. You’ve made a bunch of selections and you’ve categorized and coded them. You’re ready to start working with Transana’s reports to make sense out of the data.
There are several elements you want to consider when working with Transana’s reports.
First, there’s the question of SCOPE. What data do you want to look at? There are several options.
- You can start with your source data and request reports about how the source data is categorized and coded. Right-click a Document or an Episode to initiate the report generation, and the report will show you how data from that source is categorized and coded across your database.
- You can start with your categorization. Right-click a Collection and the reports will include all data gathered together in that collection, regardless of the source.
- You can start with your coding. First, do a Quick Search of a single Keyword, or perform a Full Search to look at a combination of keywords, collections, and text. You can then create reports directly from the Search Result in the database tree or you can convert the search result to a Collection if the report you need isn’t supported for Search Results. Some reports can be run from a Library to include multiple Documents and Episodes. Some reports can optionally aggregate information from nested collections.
Second, there’s report FORMAT.
- Sometimes, you want to look at the text of your selections. The Word Frequency Reports and the text-based Document, Episode, and Collection Reports show you the text of your selections along with other relevant information.
- Sometimes, you want to look at a picture of the coding to see at a glance how codes relate to each other. The Keyword Maps and Library Sequence Keywords Maps and Graphs provide information about coding visually.
- If you are interested in mixed-methods analysis of the selections and coding you have done, the Analytic Data Export function (which is essentially a file-based report) is worth exploring. The files created during Analytic Data Export can be imported into quantitative software package and spreadsheet software for quantitative follow-up to qualitative coding.
Finally, and most importantly, all of Transana’s reports can be highly customized using FILTERS. This process of customization allows you to move from a large report that is difficult to understand or interpret to an organized, targeted report that presents and gives insight into some particular aspect of your analysis more clearly. The first icon in the report toolbar usually brings up the report’s Filter Dialog. The Filter allows you to customize the report. A report’s contents are based on the report’s scope, allowing you to include or exclude individual Quotes, Clips, or Snapshots that fall within the initial Scope. This allows you to eliminate duplicate copies of Quotes or Clips, for example. You can also alter the reports contents, turning particular elements that can be included in the reports. You can sometimes customize the order or colors associated with particular keywords.
For now, explore Transana’s reports by right-clicking different elements within the Database tree to see what reports, maps, and graphs are available. Within each report, take a quick look at the Filter Dialog to see what ways you can customize each report. The filter dialog is different for each type of report and can differ based on the data within the report as well. Experiment to see what insights you can gain from the different reports you can generate.
Look for another Blog post on Report Filters and using reports to represent analytic conclusions in the near future.