The Integrated Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis

Integrated qualitative and quantitative analysis

We report on how two different software programs (Camtasia and EdEt) were used in the process of data conversion from qualitative to quantitative format. This process, known as a quantitative translation of data, can be considered a specific kind of mixed methods analysis. We show the methodological and technical limits of the programs and the possibilities they offer for quantitative translation. 

We reflect on the role these software packages played in the different stages of data collection and data analysis of the studies described. Finally, we delve into the methodological and epistemological criticisms of the use of software for qualitative data analysis, concluding that they are meaningful warnings to avoid misuse of software but do not apply when researchers adopt an interpretive approach in which they actively participate in the development and testing of categories.


The use of the term mixed methods to describe the combination of quantitative and qualitative information in research is not without controversy. The first question that arises is whether it is an innovative approach in social research or is simply a new ‘trademark’ for naming a methodological practice that is as old as social sciences themselves. 

The term mixed methods was coined by a movement that appeared in the late 1980s (FĂ bregues, 2015), with clear roots in the United States, and that used practices of methodological combination that had existed much earlier. It was an interdisciplinary movement that emerged in areas of applied research, such as evaluation or education. 

This very specific geographical origin of its main leaders and the applied nature of the disciplines where the initial forerunners of the movement worked explain why, at least initially, the focus was much more on procedural and design issues than on epistemological and ontological questions. 

This was the result of the objective of formalizing and systematizing most of the possibilities of a combination of quantitative and qualitative data, in sharp contrast to previous methodological literature oriented toward paradigmatic debates (Koetting, 1984; Lincoln and Guba, 1985). 

On the other hand, the development and increasingly frequent use of computer-assisted qualitative data analyses (CAQDAS) has also helped turn the debate on the integration of quantitative and qualitative data toward more technical and procedural issues. 

It is undeniable that the development of software oriented toward qualitative analysis and the latest developments in software inherently designed for mixed methods purposes (Bazeley, 2010) triggered a new array of technical and methodological reflections. 

This paper does not deny the need to deal with ontological and epistemological issues when the integration of quantitative and qualitative data is addressed (Blaikie, 1991; Bericat, 1998), but focuses on more purely methodological and technical issues. 

In fact, the purpose of the paper is to show that the use of software facilitates a very specific type of data integration, that of data conversion, and more specifically that of quantitative translation (Boyatzis, 1998). In other words, the paper raises the question of how and to what extent computer software for qualitative data collection and analysis can help the conversion and subsequent analysis of information originally collected in a qualitative format by means of quantitative tools.

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