Working With Groups

Groups in ATLAS.ti help you to sort, organize and filter the various entities. Groups are available for documents, codes, memos, and networks.

Common to all groups are:

  • An entity can be sorted into multiple groups. For example if you sort a document into the group gender::female, it can also be sorted into other groups like location::urban, or family status::single.
  • If you click on a group in a manager, you activate a filter (see below). Then only the items that are in the selected groups are displayed.
  • You can combine groups using Boolean operators. See for example Exploring Coded Data.
  • You can save a combination of groups for further re-use in form of a smart group.
  • You can set groups as gloabl filter.

There are no groups for quotations, as codes already fulfil this function. Codes group quotations that have a similar meaning. Therefore instead of groups, you see the codes in the side panel of the Quotation Manager.

Application of Document Groups

Often data come from different sources, locations, respondents with various demographic backgrounds etc. To facilitate the handling of the different types of data, they can be organized into document groups.

You can also use document groups for administrative purposes in team projects if different coders should code different documents. You can then create a group containing all documents for coder 1, another group containing the documents for coder 2 and so on.

Document Group Examples

Another application is the use of document groups for analytic comparisons in the Code Document Table.

Group Comparisons in the Code-Document Table

Document Groups are also useful as global filters for instance for Code Co-occurrence Analysis.

Document Groups as Global Filters

Document groups can also be added to Networks and you can show which codes have been applied to which group.

Document Groups in Networks

Application of Code Groups

Code groups can be used to sort and organize codes in the Code Manager. Code groups facilitate the navigation of codes in the Code Manager as local filter.

Code Groups as local filter

Code groups can be used as global filters in analysis.

Code Groups as Global Filter in Networks

Code groups can also be used in the Code Document Table for case comparisons.

Code Groups in the Code-Document Table

Users often mistake code groups as a kind of higher order code, which they are not. They do however can be quite useful in building a coding system.

Application of Memo Groups

Memo groups come in handy if you have written lots of memos. You could for example group memos by function: methodological notes, team memos, research diaries, analysis.

If you have multiple memos that contain answers to one research question, you can group all those memos.

If you have multiple memos that contain input for a particular section in the research report, you may want to create a memo group for those.

Examples for memo groups

You find more information on working with memos here: Memos and Comments.

Groups as Filters

Groups are listed in the filter area of the document, code, memo and network manager.

Click on one or more groups to filter the list of items. If you want to select multiple groups hold down the Ctrl key.

Once you have set one or more groups as filter, a yellow bar appears above the entity list indicated that a) a filter has been set and b) which one.

To reset the filter to see all entities again, click the X on the top right-hand side of the yellow bar.

It is also possible to run simple AND and OR queries:

As soon as you select more than one group, you see the word any in blue in the filter bar. This means the default operation is to combine the items of the selected groups with OR.

If you want to filter by the intersection of two or more groups, click on the word "any" and change it to all. This is the Boolean AND operator.

Two document groups as local filter

An example would be to filter by all female respondents who live in an urban region. This requires that you have grouped the documents by these two criteria:

  • education::some college
  • Gender::female

The same options are available for all entity types.