Unlike quantitative research, which is based on numerical data used to perform calculations, qualitative research uses non-numerical qualitative data, such as texts, images and films. Qualitative data can be stored in different file formats for which in many cases “preferred” formats are already available (such as TIFF).
CAQDAS (Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis) programs facilitate the various research methods and analysis techniques for enriching and analyzing qualitative data. Examples are ATLAS.TI, HyperRESEARCH, MAXqda, QDA Miner, NVivo, Qualrus and Transana.
Over time, different versions of the programs have appeared and versions for different operating systems have been released. Often the files from these applications cannot be exchanged. CAQDAS programs use closed “proprietary” formats and do not support open import or export formats. This impedes the durability of the data files.