What is Qualitative Research?

Qualitative research is about exploring issues, understanding phenomena, and answering questions by analyzing and making sense of unstructured data. From health studies, to academic research, market research and stakeholder consultation, qualitative research happens in nearly every workplace and study environment, nearly every day.

Focus groups, in-depth interviews, content analysis, ethnography, evaluation and semiotics are among the many approaches that are used, but qualitative research in its most basic form involves the analysis of any unstructured data, including: open-ended survey responses, literature reviews, audio recordings, videos, pictures, social media and web pages.

What is qualitative research software?

Qualitative research software like NVivo, helps people to manage, shape and make sense of unstructured information. It doesn't do the thinking for you; it provides a workspace and tools to enable you to easily work through your information.

With purpose built tools for classifying, sorting and arranging information, qualitative research software gives you more time to analyze your materials, identify themes, glean insight and develop meaningful conclusions.

Learn how NVivo can help

Watch a free eDemo video to learn more about how NVivo can help with your qualitative research, then get started with a free trial.

Play eDemo: NVivo for Windows

Play eDemo: NVivo for Mac

More about NVivo


"NVivo plays a key role in getting more qualitative research published as it facilitates a rigorous analysis. It's not that manual analysis isn't rigorous, but it is more difficult to demonstrate rigor analyzing data manually."


Dr. Anthony Onwuegbuzie

Sam Houston State University


Microsoft Gold Certified Partner