Dedoose History


How Dedoose Came to Be

We are delighted to bring you Dedoose, "Great Research Made Easy." Dedoose delivers a powerful, feature-rich, collaborative, inexpensive web-based application for researchers of all sorts.

The team behind Dedoose is first and foremost a group of professionally trained and active social-science researchers with decades of experience using psychological and anthropological research methods. We work at the cutting edge of mixed method research design, implementation and qualitative analysis.

But in the late 1990s, we found ourselves challenged by the lack of tools and technologies available to meet our need to manage, share, and analyze an increasing amount of mixed method research being collected by members of geographically distributed teams.

We pondered what a technological solution would look like. Key challenges included:

  • Varying levels of computer skills among team members
  • Multiple platforms among users
  • Researchers working from different epistemological positions
  • Qualitative data in various forms that needed to be integrated
  • Limited resources (budgets, time, and skill sets)

At that time, traditional qualitative-data-analysis software options were expensive, complicated to learn and use, and overloaded with unnecessary features. We believed the solution needed to be:

  • Intuitive, with accessible learning features throughout
  • Collaborative
  • Fluid in integrating different types of data
  • Platform-independent
  • Rich in mixed method data management and analysis features
  • Secure
  • Inexpensive

There was nothing at that point that even came close to meeting our needs, so we decided to build it ourselves. We wanted to make our own lives easier and our work more efficient so EthnoNotes for Filemaker Pro was born—and it worked!

Even better, other researchers loved what we had built and gave us great feedback. But FileMaker Pro was soon too limiting and our computer-science consultants told us, "Hey, you know what you want, go build it yourselves."

That's how EthnoNotes for Filemaker grew into the web-based EthnoNotes the RIA (Rich Internet Application).

We knew we had created something of great value when we witnessed a rapidly growing user community filled with happy researchers. The only problem was that we were still a (really) small company. As we watched web technology advance, we knew we wanted more from EthnoNotes.

So what next? We upped our game. We solved some financing challenges, found more of the right people and...done! Dedoose was born. Dedoose does everything that users loved in EthnoNotes and so much more—it's more intuitive, faster, more transparent, easier to learn, and still evolving rapidly, thanks to your feedback.

We've learned a lot along the way and we have to say we think Dedoose is very, very cool. You will too.