INSIDE ATLAS.ti December 2021


Jörg Hecker
CEO



Dear ATLAS.ti users and trainers,

We are very excited to end this year with a great surprise--the launch of ATLAS.ti 22! We hope you enjoy exploring the newest generation of ATLAS.ti during these holidays. The ATLAS.ti 22 Desktop versions have a refreshed look with new features like analysing social network comments, artificial intelligence tools to automatically code for thematic contents, you can organize your codes in folders, categories and subcodes, visualize your data in beautiful new ways, make use of our improved support for survey and reference manager data, and much more. We also have launched new ATLAS.ti Web features like tree maps, donut-charts, full Desktop-project import, code images, and more.

Find more details about these new tools and features in this newsletter. You can also see our new video tutorials and sign up for a free webinar to learn more about ATLAS.ti 22. We are grateful for our users all around the world who are always giving us feedback, and our technicians have worked very hard to bring in these diverse brand-new features and make sure ATLAS.ti is always meeting your research needs! Try out ATLAS.ti 22 with a free trial or upgrade your current ATLAS.ti license to the latest generation, and count on ATLAS.ti to always make your research easier! Always remember: With every license you purchase, no matter if it is a semester, student, single, multi-user or campus license, you get access to all the ATLAS.ti platforms: Desktop Windows & Mac and our online Web version! And of course: We are here for you with free worldwide support. Call us, chat with us in real time, visit one of our many free webinars and see our free video tutorials!

Say hello to the new ATLAS.ti 22! We'd love to hear from you!

We wish everyone great holidays and a very happy new year!

Jörg Hecker
CEO



News


What's New in ATLAS.ti 22



We have listened carefully to our users and have streamlined and redesigned many areas of the program to even better accommodate users' needs and typcial workflows.

The sum total of these new features makes for an exciting and powerful new ATLAS.ti experience. We sincerely hope you'll enjoy it!

Read below what ATLAS.ti 22 has to offer. And click here for a video.



Create Code Hierarchies, Organize Codes in Folders

ATLAS.ti 22 offers you new ways to organize your codes in the code system. If you do not have the need to organize your code into a hierarchy ofhigher and lower order codes, you can work as usual and use independent codes. If you want to create a hierarchy of codes, you can make use of category codes and subcodes. If some codes do not fit in any category, they can just remain as independent codes. An additional way to organize your codes are folders. You can add independent codes and categories with their subcodes to folders. Folders can also contain other folders.



Figure 1: New ways of organizing codes

If you start coding your data, and you may begin with creating some new codes, those will be independent first level codes. They remain independent codes until you add them to a category as a subcode.

A code becomes a category when you drag and drop codes underneath it. These can be independent codes or subcodes that you move from a different category. Another option is to split a code into subcodes. The previous split code option is still available. This will split a code into other independent codes.

The category itself does not code quotations. Therefore, you can only insert other codes as subcodes underneath if the code is not linked to quotations. The reason for this is that via the category code you can retrieve all quotations from all sub codes. If you were able to code with the category code and the subcode, you would get duplicated quotations.

Another cool feature is that you can drag a category code to a data segment and select one or more of its subcodes for coding.



This also allows you to query data on the aggregated level. In the past, users frequently wished to be able to use code groups (as pseudo categories) in the Code Co-occurrence Table. You still cannot use code groups, but you also don't have to. You just select a category code if you want to analyze data on the aggregate level. If you want more detail, you select the subcodes. This is illustrated in the images below.



Figure 2: Analysis on the aggregated level



Figure 3: Analysis for detail on the subcode level

This does not only apply to the Code Co-occurrence Table, but also to the Code-Document Table, the Query Tool, and when retrieving quotations by double-clicking on a code.

As you see in figures 3 and 4, you never lose the connection to the category code. If you do not see the hierarchy, the category label is added as a prefix. The difference to all previous versions is - you no longer have to do this manually 😊.

Based on many years of experience seeing users struggling with building code systems (and not only in ATLAS.ti), we decided to offer categories with subcodes and no further levels below the subcodes. Folders can be used to organize your codes. In that sense you can add as many levels as you want, but data can only be coded into independent codes and into subcodes. Categories contain data by default. This is also in line with recommendations by many authors in the field of qualitative methodology. For instance, Pat Bazeley wrote:

" If you have a typical project of moderate complexity, it should require no more than 10 top-level [parent] categories" to cover the topic [...]. Furthermore, most code systems do not go more than two or three levels deep. If they do, it is likely that the categories being used are no longer true subcategories of the higher-order categories they are under; and, on a practical level, it becomes inconvenient for the coder to remember, locate, and effectively use them" (2013. p. 183).

If you use a deeper hierarchy, you will likely start duplicating and even multiplying codes at the lower sub-levels. Not only does this make your code system long and difficult to maintain, but it also prevents you from performing effective comparative analysis.



Import social network comments

Social networks provide a powerful reflection of the structure and dynamics of modern society. Often it is not a single tweet or post that is interesting, but the reactions and interactions of the social network users. There are many applications for analyzing user comments such as: social movements, brand communities, marketing campaigns, political discourse, discourses on currently relevant topics within a given community or society, understanding your audience, to name a few.

ATLAS.ti imports Excel files generated by exportcomments.com. You can use the service for free to export up to 100 comments per link. For a small fee, you can use the service for three days to download the data you need. This also allows you to export nested comments.

Supported social networks are: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, VK, Twitch, Discord, Steam. Below, you can see an imported social network conversation from YouTube on the new 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee. ATLAS.ti auto-codes all users. In addition, a sentiment analysis has been conducted looking for positive and negative statements.



Figure 4: Import social network comments



Improved Survey Import

Good news for those working with survey data. We have simplified the import of survey data; there is no longer the need to add any syntax before importing. You can import data as it is exported from Google Forms, Survey Monkey, Qualtrics, and the like. With the help of a wizard, you can decide which data should be included or excluded, which data should be transformed into document groups, and which data will make up the body of the text.



Figure 5: Survey Import Wizard

For each table column you can decide whether it should be transferred into a document attribute, a document group, or content of a coded document. You can also exclude columns.



Concept Search

This is a great new feature if you need to gain insights quickly. But there are numerous other applications, for instance to code literature for a literature review or to find information in larger reports. The concept search finds relevant concepts for you based on noun phrases. You can review results in context and can decide what you want to code. You can auto-code all data segments for the concept, or only those related to selected noun phrases that make up the concept. If you take a look at the graphic below, you'll see you can code all instances related to identity, or create different subcodes of identity based on the noun phrases identifying certain types or aspects of identity.



Figure 6: Concept Search

This function is available for all interface languages, and you can search for concepts in documents, document groups, codes, or code groups.

What makes a concept?

In a first step, the significant noun phrases (for example, health care system) are detected in order to identify the most frequently occurring concepts in the data. In the second step, the concepts and their frequencies are collected across all files in the set being processed. ATLAS.ti actively filters the concepts - only the most relevant concepts are presented in the results.



Analyze Parts of Speech in Word Clouds and Lists

The word clouds and lists received a further filter option. Filtering by parts of speech allows you to filter your data by specific grammatical elements (parts of speech) like adjectives, nouns, numerals, pronouns, etc. Below you see an example that only shows adjectives:





More Data Visualizations

Data visualization is a great way to simplify the complexity of understanding relationships among data. The Sankey Diagram is one such powerful technique to visualize the association of data elements, which we introduced in version 9. In the new version, you can also create bar charts as alternative views. Bar charts are available in the Code-Document Table and in the Code Co-occurrence Table, as well as in the Document and Code Manager.

As soon as you create a Code-Document or a Code Co-occurrence Table, a bar chart will be shown in the area below the table.



Figure 7: Bar chart in the Code-Document Table

For the visualization as a bar chart, it is often preferable to change the code colors. You may also want to switch around the rows and the columns. The table below shows the same comparison as above, only this time each subcode was given a different color. The subcodes for benefits range from grey to blue; the subcodes for downside are red to orange.





Data Visualization in the Document and Code Manager

Analyzing Code Distributions

Code distributions are displayed in the Document Manager and in the Code Manager in the form of bar charts. In the Document Manager, you will see a bar for each code. The higher the bar, the more often the code was used. In the Code Manager, however, each bar stands for a document. Within the bar, you can see how the codes are distributed in the document.

After having coded the data, a look at the code distribution gives you a feel for the data. Which topics were mentioned more or less frequently? By whom? Is there a difference between different groups of respondents? How are the topics distributed?



Figure 8: Code distribution across documents in the Document Manager



Figure 9: Code distribution by documents in the Code Manager

If you hover over a bar, the code label and its frequency is shown. If you double-click on a bar, the Quotation Reader opens, and you can read the data coded by this code.



Live Chat




In addition to our email and telephone support, you can now also chat with us if you have a question or a problem.

In ATLAS.ti Windows, you can access the Live Chat via the Help menu.

In ATLAS.ti Mac, you find the Live Chat option in the toolbar.



New in ATLAS.ti Web: Visualizations, Import





We have added great new visualizations in ATLAS.ti Web (see above examples of a Donut Chart and a Tree Map), as well as the possibility to import ATLAS.ti 22 projects from the Windows and Mac versions.



New license models

We are introducing the three-year subscription model. It gives customer absolutely great value for the money:Includes all major version upgrades during the entire duration of lease, a lower lease price compared to the annual lease, the possibility to prepay for multiple years, thus being able to meaningfully invest available budget moneys, and a lower annual rate.

We are switching fully to subscription licenses to ensure that all users always have the same program version. In the past it has been shown that the cooperation of users with different versions has led to problems, which can be avoided if all have the same version.

This became more and more important since the ATLAS.ti Windows and Mac desktop versions are fluently compatible with each other, so that projects can be moved between them at any time forth and back and like that everyone can work in a mixed team and also since projects from the Web version can be imported to the desktop versions and vice versa. All this would be very complicated if our users would work with different versions.

Perpetual licenses, i.e. licenses that included a version with unlimited use, was purchased mainly because institutions and companies did not have certainty about future budgets. To accommodate this need, we have therefore introduced a three-year subscription that is paid in advance to solve this problem. An institution can now spend what it currently has in its budget and purchase a license that is valid for a minimum of three years.



Miscellaneous

We have added synonym lists for all interface languages and improved the database, so you have more and better choices.

For data import from reference managers, we now also support the BibTeX format. Combined with the Endnote XML format, this gives you an almost 100% compatibility with all reference managers.

We have extended the range of file types that ATLAS.ti Windows can read. The following file types can be imported and transformed into PDF documents:

  • eBooks from 'epub' and 'mobi' files

  • files from Microsoft Visio and Libre Office / OpenOffice Draw

  • PowerPoint slides

The interface has a fresh new look. When you open a project, information about your project like its comments, number of documents, codes, etc. will be displayed on the screen:



Figure 11: Empty state when opening a project

We re-organized and extended the context menus. For instance, adding code colors is available from the code context menu.

In the Windows version, you can now also merge codes via drag and drop. Further, you can edit a comment in the Apply Coding window and in the comment area of the project navigator and the browsers. Previously you could only view them.

We simplified a number of functions, like removing the code tree and code forest, transitive relations in the Relation Manager, and semantic operators in the Query Tool. All of these are now no longer necessary, as a true hierarchy for codes is available. Being able to simply select a category to retrieve all of the quotations of its subcodes made the semantic down operator obsolete. Selecting multiple subcodes and retrieving their quotations made the sibling operator obsolete.



And last but not least, a secret favorite for at least some of us on the team - the new project bundle icon in the Mac version. Isn't it adorable?



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