Product Tutorial

Applying Global Filters For Data Analysis

Global filters are a powerful tool to analyze your data. As compared to local filters that you can invoke in each manager, global filter have an effect on the entire project.
Susanne
Susanne Friese
Product specialist, trainer and author of the book "Qualitative Data Analysis with ATLAS.ti"
  1. Applying Global Filters For Data Analysis
  2. Setting Global Filters
  3. Display Of Global Filters
  4. Global Filters In The Code Co-occurrence Table
  5. Global Filters In The Code-Document Table
  6. Activating / Deactivating Global Filters
  7. Removing A Global Filter

Applying Global Filters For Data Analysis

Global filters are a powerful tool to analyze your data. As compared to local filters that you can invoke in each manager, global filter have an effect on the entire project. If you set a document group as global filter, also the results of the code-document table or the Code Co-occurrence Table will also be effected. For example, if you cross-tabulate a code category ACTION with another code category OUTCOME, you can see which actions are related to which outcomes for all of your respondents. If you set the document group: ‘gender: female’ as global filter, the results of the table will change only showing which actions are related to which outcome for all female respondents.

In a code document table, it allows you to combine two variables without having to create a smart group. Given the above example, a Code-Document Table including all ACTION codes by document groups “have children”, “do not have children”, the results will show the quotation frequency of all action codes for ‘female respondents with children’ vs. ‘female respondents without children’.

In network, all entities that do not pass the filter criteria will be faded out. Or, if you select the ‘import neighbor’ or ‘import co-occurring’ options, you can control the process by only importing entities that pass a given filter criteria.

An additional benefit is that you can focus your analysis on certain aspects of your project. All selection lists become shorter and if you know that you only want to work with 5 out of your 15 categories for the moment, you create a code group that only contains the codes that you want to work with at the moment and set this code group as global filter. Similarly you can create document groups if you want to focus on only a sub set of your documents for a given analytic task.

You can set the following entities as global filter:

  • a single document
  • a document group
  • a single code
  • a code group
  • memo groups
  • network groups

Setting Global Filters

Global filters can be set in each in the project navigator on the left-hand side and in all managers. Right click on a document, code, or group and select the option Set Global Filter.

Activating a global filter in Win and Mac
Figure 1: Activating a global filter

Display Of Global Filters

Similar to the visualization of local filters, global filters are also indicated by a colored bar.

Indication that a global document filter as been set
Figure 2: Indication that a global document filter as been set
  • Global document filters are blue.
  • Global quotations filters are orange.
  • Global code filters are green.
  • Global memo filters are magenta.
  • Global network filters are purple

Document group filters have an effect on quotations. If you open the Quotation Manager and a document group is set as global filter, you will see an orange global filter bar on top of the quotation list.

In the figure below the global filter is combined with a local code filter (beige colored bar). This results in the following query: Show me all quotations of the code “reasons for nhc: self-centered” for all female respondents.

Figure 3: A global quotation filter combined with a local code filter

Figure 4 shows an example where a global code filter has been set for a group of codes that is relevant for a specific analytic task.

Figure 4: Filtering for codes that are relevant in relation to a research question

Figure 5 shows a network that has been created with the help of a global code filter. The question behind the network was: Which positive and negative effects of parenting have been mentioned by those with 1, 2 or 3 children.

Network with global filter setting (ATLAS.ti Win)
Figure 5: Network with global filter setting (ATLAS.ti Win)

Global Filters In The Code Co-occurrence Table

Figures 6 and 7 show two code co-occurrence tables. The first one shows the various opinions about the relationship between children and happiness of those respondents from a parenting blog with and without children. The second table shows the same for those commenting on the New York Times Magazine article. If you deactivate the filter, you see the results for the entire data set.

Figure 6: Global filters and code co-occurrence (ATLAS.ti Desktop)
Figure 7: Global filters and code co-occurrence (ATLAS.ti Mac)

Global Filters In The Code Document Table

Figure 8 shows three states of a Code-Document Table. Here the reasons for and against having children across different educational levels and gender are compared. The comparison by gender and educational level was facilitated by selecting a document group as a global filter.

Figure 8: Global filter applied in the Code-Document Table

Activating / Deactivating Global Filters

If you want to temporarily deactivate the filter to see the results for the entire data set, click the checkbox as shown in the figure below.

Deactivated global filter
Figure 9: Deactivated global filter

Removing A Global Filter

The currently active filter is reset if you change a global filter.

If you want to remove a global filter altogether, in the Windows version, click on the X, and in the Mac version, click on the minus (–) button. The Project Navigator offers a convenient way to do so.

Figure 10: Removing global filter