Transana’s Reports, Maps, and Graphs (referred to collectively as the Reports) are powerful tools for increasing your understanding of qualitative data that you’ve coded and categorized. As I talked about in “Making Sense of Your Coded Data,” your reports include all the data within the broad scope you defined when you initiated the report. Report Filters can narrow the focus of a given report to enable you to gain new insights and reach new conclusions about your data.

You have considerable control of the structure and contents of Transana’s reports through the Filter dialog. Filter options can vary depending on the type of report and the data you are working with.

In text-based reports, for example, you can control whether you include your Quote and Clip Transcript text, coding, notes (including analytic memos), or other information about the data. In graphical reports, you can control the order and the color of keywords.

You also have fine-grained control over the data that gets included or excluded on an item-by-item basis. You can choose to temporarily hide duplicate items if they interfere with your report, or you can remove data that is not associated with the analytic point you are trying to make. You can select which codes are relevant to a particular analytic view, their order, and you can even over-ride what color is used to display those keywords.

These controls let you explore your data in varied and complex ways as you work through ideas about what your raw data, your categorization, and your coding have to tell you, and to refine the presentation of your data to help you make sense of it.

For example, I have some data of video game play that I’d coded extensively. The initial Keyword Map was hard to interpret because it included too much information.

However, I was able to use the Keyword Map’s Filter dialog to look at a subset of the codes I’d used and to modify the order and color in which the remaining codes were presented. The resulting Keyword Map shows three very distinct phases of activity within the data I collected.

This Keyword Map was a jumping-off point for exploring the important distinctions between events represented by longer bars in the report compared to events represented by shorter bars, because I was able to load the individual clips underlying this data by clicking on the bars in the report. I can now tell a very compelling story about what I learned, because this graphic both helps me explore the data I collected, and neatly presents my results.

Once you have a report the way you want it, there are two ways to save your work. You can save the report, contents and all, as a word processing document (for text reports) or jpeg image (for graphical reports). This allows you to save a “snapshot” view of what your data looked like at one point during your analysis, which is often handy for presentations, articles, and collaboration with colleagues. Alternately, you can save the “filter configuration,” saving the report’s pattern or settings without saving the underlying data. This is useful when you intend to do additional analysis that you would like to include in the next version of the same report.

The main takeaway: When you’re working with Transana’s Reports, Maps, and Graphs, the Report Filters allow you nearly infinite customization of your reports, which can prove tremendously powerful for understanding your data, and sharing those insights with others.

For more information on using Transana’s Report Filters, see the Online Tutorial at