The Use of ATLAS.ti to analyse tweets: A step-by-step user guide

March 4, 2020

This article was written by one of our Certified ATLAS.ti Professional Trainers, Praveen Hoogar (Manipal Academy Of Higher Education, India)

ATLAS.ti is one of the leading computer assisted qualitative data analysis softwares. Data import from Twitter and its analysis is one of the highlights of ATLAS.ti. It deals with multiple aspects in working with qualitative data, and the software features can be used to address a wide variety of qualitative research needs, such as setting up a project, adding data and documents, creating memos, importing Twitter data, and analyzing Twitter data. The topics covered in this present short paper are;

  1. How to create an ATLAS.ti project?
  2. How to import data from Twitter into ATLAS.ti?

So, let’s start…..


Step: 1 –

Frame or decide your research question or query to get data from Twitter and finalize hashtags.

I have finalized my research question and hashtags for the present study: What are the Twitter opinions on the recently enacted “Citizenship Amendment Act – 2019 (CAA-2019)”. #CAA, #Citizenship_act, #CitizenshipAct



Step: 2 –

Now create a new project in ATLAS.ti. Follow the steps given below to create a new project:

  • Open ATLAS.ti from your computer or laptop. A screen will appear (as shown in the screenshot above) asking if you want to create a new project or import an existing one.
  • To start from scratch with your own documents, choose “Create New Project.” If you already have an ATLAS.ti project, choose “Import Project Bundle.”
  • I want to start a new project so I will choose to Create New Projects. Then a screen will appear asking Project Name (see screenshot below), there you must enter your project name and click on the Create button.
  • Now you have created a new project in ATLAS.ti. It will look something like this:



Step:3 –

Import data from Twitter

In this step the data must be imported from Twitter by using appropriate and pre-decided hashtags. Here, tweets are considered as quotations and Twitter data analysis is nothing but an analysis of tweets on any specific issues of research questions.

  • Data can be directly imported into ATLAS.ti by simply selecting Twitter under the Import/Export tab (Windows) / Document (Mac). Search for the most popular or recent tweets based on the hashtags of your interest.
As I already mentioned I am using my pre-decided hashtags #CAA, #Citizenship_act, #CitizenshipAct.


  • Click on the tab Import/Export at the top of your project. Then there you will find six ways or sources of importing and four ways of exporting the data.
  • Find and click on the Twitter option. Then you will be asked to login and authenticate permission to get data from your Twitter account. If you have already logged in, you just need to click on the Twitter icon on the dropdown list (as shown in the screenshot below).


  • Once you click on that option a screen will appear. You need to enter hashtags into the query section, then you must check the options which are necessary for your analysis.
  • Please note that Twitter search only provides data from the last one week. Here you can select to have only tweets, retweets, images or any combination of these.
  • You can also select whether data should be popular, recent or mixed.
  • You could also have your data automatically coded by author, hashtags mention etc. as showed in the screenshot.
  • Then click on the button to import the tweets.

I have selected mixed result type, including only tweets and images, selected Author, Hashtag, Mentions, Locations and Language for coding. I also selected to get author-mention and author-location links.



  • ATLAS.ti starts importing the data from Twitter, once it completed importing data it looks like shown in the screenshot below:

  • Now the data is ready for analysis.


See you next time with a relevant topic in our upcoming paper.






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