Waldman and her project manager, Anne Marie Masters, started to research different companies that produced the type of software solution they were looking for. One of those companies was QSR International, with its NVivo software.
"We were attracted to QSR because it was a solid company," says Waldman, one that would be able to provide support and software that would fit iD8's business plans. But the big selling point was the ease in generating reports in Word format. The traditional document style is familiar to the authors, and it doesn't limit the length of the report, an important detail when every bit of information counts.
According to QSR, qualitative research is all about exploring issues and answering questions, something that iD8 needed to be able to do more efficiently when it came to the peer-review process. The NVivo software is designed to support a wide range of research methods and the various formats in which the research is presented. It can also be programmed to work for the individual user, which was a plus for Waldman.
"What we are providing is the tools needed for their particular solution that can add a particular service to their client," says John Owen. In the NVivo software, everything can be organized by chapters and content, which provides the authors with a clear road map of the reviews. "By using the query and visualization functions in NVivo, [it] allows iD8 to extract the themes from the book's content to create customized reports to clients and authors."
The software continues to evolve as a partnership between iD8 and QSR. "After talking with John, I said instead of clients calling me to say they lost the review done a year ago or to ask for very specific information, I wished we could somehow make that information available on our online site as another piece of the service we offer," says Waldman. Owen's solution was HTML links. "That was so simple," Waldman continues, "and it will solve a big problem for us."