AQUAD 8 is a software that was originally developed in the tradition of qualitative coding and qualitative content analysis. Further details and feature descriptions can be found below on this website. At the end of the site you will find the roadmap  outlining the next developmental steps of AQUAD 8.


  • Content analysis  without transcriptions: Videos (.mp4, .avi), audio-recordings (.wav, .mp3) und pictures (.jpg,.bmp) are coded directly on the screen.
  • Content analysis of texts (.txt) directly on the screen.
  • Coding by clicking in an automatically created register of codes (master code list).
  • Variable length of codes, maximum 60 characters.
  • Practically unlimited memos; text segments, part of other memos, saved findings, etc. can be copied into memos. Retrieval by file name, code, keyword (also combined) or parts of memo texts (full text retrieval).
  • Analysis separately by speakers (or any unit like items in questionnaires, etc.) in audio-, video-, textfiles.
  • Word analysis: Differentiation of files into single words, analysis with dictionaries of meaning (word catalogs) and speaker codes.
  • Table analysis on one, two or three levels of criteria (that is, hierarchical order of criteria).
  • Construction of linkage hypotheses (linked units of meaning) by clicking.
  • Comparison of cases/files by Boolean analysis of critical features and identification of „types“ („logical minimization“).
  • Sequential analysis of any kind of „text“ (based on the methodological approach of Objective Hermeneutics)
Picture analysis with AQUAD 7

Picture analysis with AQUAD 8










Details and further feature descriptions

Proper source materials for further analysis with AQUAD 8 are textual, audio, video,  and image data.

Technically speaking, codes always contain the same structure. However, on the content level (i.e. interpretation), the following distinctions can be made:

  • content related codes
  • codes on a more abstract level (e.g. created by combining content related codes in more general codes)
  • sequential codes (e.g. created by testing hypotheses about code configurations, where the result  can be inserted as a code – thus, very complex structures can be defined for in-depth research)

AQUAD 8 allows to trace back and explain each code based on the original data material. Hypotheses can be tested directly on the source material. This avoids extra and sometimes unnecessary work like transcriptions (audio, video) or paraphrasing. The quality does not suffer by using this method – quite the opposite: Paraphrases must be seen as an act of interpretation and therefore they cause a certain level of uncertainty in an analysis.  If you code a paraphrase, you are actually  analysing your own paraphrasing skills, but not the „real“ content of the source material. Additionally, transcriptions are not necessary any longer if you can code the audio or video data directly. In case of uncertainties, you can always go back to the original data and decide about a code.

Another feature of AQUAD 8 is the analysis by means of Boolean Algebra – called implicant analysis. This method was introduced by Charles Ragin into the social sciences and allows to perform meta-analyses and to identify distinct types to build larger typologies. This method represents  a sort of exploratory analysis and allows to test very flexible hypotheses about code configurations over all cases.

AQUAD 8 supports – as the first software at all – to analyse data with the method called sequential analysis, which is part of the objective hermeneutics approach.  Sequential analysis is a method mostly applied by small teams of researchers trying to reconstruct case structures. The module in AQUAD 8 does not alter the method, but adds a very precise computer supported documentation system to foster the transparency of this type of analysis. Additionally, it forces researchers to stick strictly to the characteristics of the procedure.


Roadmap for future versions

For a detailed description of future developments and features, please have a look on the website that outlines the extensions to AQUAD 7:

  • further development of the module aquad8.eda.exe, which integrates the open source statistical environment R (using pre-defined scripts and the possibility to load one’s own scripts).
  • a module to transcode videos to MPEG4 by means of open source FFmpeg programs and libraries
  • a module to export AQUAD 8 audio and video code files to Advanced SSA format (.ass) to use it for presentation, evaluation or peer-review of qualitative video and audio data (text-video overlays as an extension to classical sub-titles)