TAMS stands for Text Analysis Markup System. It is a convention for identifying themes in texts (web pages, interviews, field notes). It was designed for use in ethnographic and discourse research. TAMS Analyzer is a coding and extraction software for qualitative research projects. Supports multiple coders, hierarchical codes, complex searching for information, many options for formatting the output of searches, and easy export to Excel and other databases.
February 05, 2004
Version: TAMS Analyzer 2.39b8
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. tams is excellent software for coding and analysis of qualitative data, bringing this capability to the Mac after many years of it being absent. I found tams after realizing that my tried and true N4 (Nud*ist) refused to run on Mac OS X, even in classic.
Tams does much of what QSR's Nud*ist N4 package does. All of the basics are certainly present -- coding, memoing, file organization, and searching. Tams has the capability for complex coding and searching, which makes it a great stand-in for Nudist. Though tams is a bit harder to learn, if you already understand the basics of coding data, you can probably dig into tams relatively quickly. I think it took me less than 30 minutes to import and start coding my own documents in at least a basic way. I also appreciate the way that Tams allows you to code text units of any length, down to even a single word. As such, the coding system allows for finer-grained coding and more flexibility than N4.
Tams isn't perfect -- at least not yet. But the developer is responsive, dedicated, and helpful, and he's already included features that I've suggested would be useful. On top of it all, this product is at least partially GPL'd. If you're doing qualitative research or data analysis on the mac, I'd recommend this app. I'm currently working on a large set of data using this program, and have found it invaluable. Learn it, use it, and provide feedback -- that's the only way it will improve.
July 16, 2003
Version: TAMS Analyzer 2.17a2
This review was originally posted on VersionTracker.com. If you are involved in any form of qualitative research in the social sciences, humanities or education, this tool is very helpful. Not to repeat the comments of others, this tool allow you to take qualitative data (the transcript from an interview, for example) and place "tags" around bits of text that you find interesting. Sometimes the tag you place around a bit of text will be new; sometimes it will be the same as a tag you have placed previously. Then, when you are analyzing your data, you can perform a search based upon a particular tag rather than upon something that the interview participant said. Ultimately, it allows you to very quickly find pieces of text that relate to particular themes that emerge from your collected data.
Having said all of this, it is not a particularly intuitively designed piece of softwareÃ¢??you can very quickly get lost in a plethora of windows. But it is usable, free and very, very frequently updated.
I have noticed some problems with tags that I believe are saved within the Workbench, only to find that they are gone the next time I open the .tprj file, but I'm not sure if this is a bug in the software, or a point where I get lost in the usability of the software. Either way, it is a problem for the software designer.
Keep up the good work.
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