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QSR International is a qualitative research software developer based in Melbourne, Australia, with offices in the United Kingdom, the United States and Japan. QSR International is the developer of qualitative data analysis (QDA) software products, NVivo, NVivo Server and XSight. These are designed to help qualitative researchers organize and analyze non-numerical or unstructured data.
Qualitative research is used to gain insight into people's attitudes, behaviours, value systems, concerns, motivations, aspirations, culture or lifestyles. It is used to inform business decisions, policy formation, communication and research. Focus groups, in-depth interviews, content analysis and semiotics are among the many formal approaches that are used, but qualitative research also involves the analysis of any unstructured material, including customer feedback surveys, reports or media clips.
- NUD*IST, which stands for, 'Non-numerical Unstructured Data Indexing, Searching and Theorizing', was first developed by Tom Richards at La Trobe University in Melbourne in 1981  as software to support social research by Lyn Richards. Tom and Lyn Richards went on to form QSR International in 1995.
- John Owen became CEO of QSR International in 2001.
- QSR released the first version of NVivo, designed to guide researchers from questions to answers, in 1999.
- The company released the first edition of XSight, enabling researchers to work through information and get to analysis faster, in 2004.
- In 2005, Professor Lyn Richards' book 'Handling Qualitative Data: A practical guide' was first published.
- In 2006, QSR International became a Microsoft Gold Partner  and released NVivo 7 and XSight 2.0. XSight 2.0 was incorporated into the syllabuses of Australia's Victoria University and Malaysia's Sunway University College. In the same year, XSight was also incorporated into the syllabus of the University of Southhamption's new MSc Marketing Analytics degree.
- In 2007 QSR partnered with Hulinks to deliver NVivo 7 in Japanese - the first Japanese qualitative research software. In the same year, Dr. Patricia Bazely's book, Qualitative Data Analysis with NVivo was first published.
- QSR released NVivo 8 in March 2008 and in August 2008 released Simplified Chinese and Spanish versions of NVivo 8. A Japanese version of NVivo 8 followed in November of the same year. French and German language versions of NVivo 8 were released in April 2009.
- In 2009 the second edition of Professor Lyn Richards' text, 'Handling Qualitative Data: A practical guide' was published.
- In 2010 QSR released NVivo 9 and NVivo Server 9.
- In 2011 QSR released an update to NVivo 9 featuring five new languages: Spanish, French, German, Portuguese and Simplified Chinese. A separate Japanese language version of NVivo 9 was made available too. The release also included new support for Framework analysis, a research methodology developed by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen).
- In 2012 QSR released NVivo 10 giving users new ability to capture and analyze web and social media data.
- In 2013 NVivo 10 was released in French, German, Portuguese, Spanish and Simplified Chinese. A separate Japanese version is also released.
- In March 2014 QSR International announced a partnership with TranscribeMe.
- In March 2014 QSR International released NVivo for Mac Beta, the first true Mac application for qualitative data analysis.
- In June 2014 QSR International released NVivo for Mac commercially.
Scale of operation
QSR International is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia and has offices in the United Kingdom, the United States and Japan. The company also has a global network of resellers and trainers.
NVivo is a qualitative data analysis (QDA) software package that was first released in 1999. NVivo allows users to import, sort and analyze data like web pages and social media, audio files, spread sheets, databases, digital photos, documents, PDFs, bibliographical data, rich text and plain text documents. Users can interchange data with applications like Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Word, IBM SPSS Statistics, EndNote, Microsoft OneNote, SurveyMonkey and Evernote. Users can order transcripts of media files from within NVivo 10 for Windows using TranscribeMe. It also allows users to perform text analysis and create visualizations of their data. The software is certified for use with Microsoft's Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1  operating system. NVivo 10 for Windows software is the only qualitative data analysis software to have been verified by Citrix's product verification program, Citrix Ready.
NVivo for Mac was released in June 2014. It can be used to analyze interviews, focus group discussions, observations and literature reviews and enables researchers to work with content from documents, PDFs, audio and video.
NVivo Server is designed to let users analyze and manage NVivo projects centrally so teams can work together in the same project at the same time.
XSight software was released in 2006 and supported until January 2014. It was software for commercial market researchers or those undertaking short term qualitative research projects. NVivo 10 for Windows software offers equivalent functionality, with greater flexibility and enables researchers to work with more data types including PDFs, surveys, images, video, audio, web and social media content.
Evolution of qualitative data analysis software
The first generation of computer-assisted qualitative data analysis (QDA) software emerged in the mid to late 1980s and involved basic word processors and databases with a focus on data management. The programs were designed to help qualitative researchers manage unstructured information like open-ended surveys, focus groups, field notes or interviews.
Second generation QDA software introduced functions for coding text and for manipulating, searching and reporting on the coded text. The approach of employing software tools for qualitative analysis was initially developed in the social sciences arena but is now used in an extensive range of other disciplines.
The third generation of QDA software goes beyond manipulating, searching and reporting on coded text. It assists actual analysis of the data by providing tools to help researchers examine relationships in the data and assist in the development of theories and in testing hypothoses. Some software supports rich text, diagrams and the incorporation of images, movies and other multimedia data. Other programs have tools that enable the exchange of data and analyses between researchers working together collaboratively.
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