n South African Computer Journal - Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Software : friend or foe : reviewed article

Volume 2005, Issue 35
  • ISSN : 1015-7999
  • E-ISSN: 2313-7835



The purpose of this article is to expose issues and concerns about the possibilities and limitations of Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Software (CAQDAS). Recent literature elucidates a rapid development in this field. Such developments may impact negatively on student learning; particularly those who wish become skilled in Qualitative Research (QR) and more specifically in Qualitative Data Analysis (QDA) with the use of advanced software. The software developers are speedily improving programs for qualitative research, adding to the complexity, comprehensiveness and methodological rigour of QDA. In turn, the demand for sophisticated computer software, certainly internationally, has increased greatly, that software developers had to respond to this need. That is why both students and experienced researchers will have to take cognisance of these rapid improvements in the field of QDA. To this end, I unravel several misconceptions of CAQDAS in QDA and shed light on intended purposes and processes, with special reference to postgraduate supervision and propose how CAQDAS may add methodological rigour to QDA. Finally, I put forward my concluding reflections and some affinities of CAQDAS.

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