The analysis of transparent conducting oxide nanostructures suffers from a lack of high throughput yet quantitatively sensitive set of analytical techniques that can properly assess their electrical properties and serve both as characterization and diagnosis tools. This is addressed by applying a comprehensive set of characterization techniques to study the electrical properties of solution-grown Al-doped ZnO nanowires as a function of composition from 0 to 4 at. % Al:Zn. Carrier mobility and charge density extracted from sensitive optical absorption measurements are in agreement with those extracted from single-wire field-effect transistor devices. The mobility in undoped nanowires is 28 cm2 /V s and decreases to ∼14 cm2 /V s at the highest doping density, though the carrier density remains approximately constant (1020 cm-3) due to limited dopant activation or the creation of charge-compensating defects. Additionally, the local geometry of the Al dopant is studied by nuclear magnetic resonance, showing the occupation of a variety of dopant sites. © 2010 American Institute of Physics.