A Beginner’s Guide to Qualitative Data Analysis with NVivo
Would You Need Help Doing Your Dissertation with NVivo?
Using qualitative data within your research for many is far harder than using quantitative data. Qualitative is data that cannot be measured such as someone’s opinion while quantitative data are measurements made with hard numbers. Making sense of for instance hundreds of responses for an interview can be hard work and you may want to use qualitative data analysis with NVivo. NVivo qualitative data analysis is a relatively easy way to help you with keeping track of all of the different themes and ideas raised within your data.
We use qualitative data analysis to help us to develop theories, test hypothesis and to draw conclusions based on our findings. This is usually done through gathering data using things like interviews, questionnaires, review of documents and websites, and even social media.
Unlike statistical analysis in Excel or SPSS of quantitative data, you will need to find a way to discover what your data is telling you without the use of numbers. This is where software such as NVivo comes in as it provides you with a method to group together like ideas and themes within your research to make it easier to understand what is going on.
How and Why to Use Nvivo Statistical Analysis
NVivo is a useful piece of software in that it allows you to review the data that you have gathered in many different formats. You are not simply restricted to using written documents when using this software.
Through NVivo you are able to upload data that can be:
- Documents: such as Word, PDF, or RTF format
- Web pages
Once this data has been uploaded you can begin to code the information that you have. Coding is done between the different documents to:
- Create generalizations
- Identify any relationships
- Show Similarities
- Highlight themes
- Show any differences
You will be able to code the information to different nodes within the program. A node is a specific theme or case that you can relate the data to. For instance, a theme can be specific idea such as “CO2 emissions causing global warming.” While a case can be all of the information related to a specific individual within a study. By having nodes you are able to quickly review all of the information within your data that has been related to that specific node without having to sort through all of the data to find it.
The creation of nodes looks like the following within the NVivo software:
Coding When Using NVivo in Qualitative Research
Coding in its simplest form is assigning a part of your data to one or more of the nodes that you have created. For instance reviewing all of the data whether it is audio, video, or documentary and linking it to that node. This can be done in more than one way through NVivo and will depend on how much time and data you have.
Manual coding: you will be able to review the data and assign it to nodes manually. This is fine when you have relatively small amounts of data to work through and can keep track of the different nodes that you have created.
The problems, however, come when you have a huge amount of data to review. As long as you have the NVivo plus version of the software then you will be able to use its auto coding features to review your data. Auto-coding can automatically review the available data to find similarities within it speeding up the coding process significantly.
For instance, if you assign a piece of text to a particular node then the software can review all other text to find similarly worded sentences or paragraphs and assign those to the same node. It can also be asked to conduct searches through the data to find specific words or phrases and assign them to the nodes of your choice.
Using the automatic features within NVivo for the Auto code will look like the following screen:
Using NVivo NCapture you also have the ability to directly capture information from the internet such as Facebook pages and Twitter feeds. This can help you to analyze and gather information quickly online for your research.
Capture for NVivo looks like:
Pros and Cons of Using NVivo in Qualitative Research
NVivo is a quick and effective method to highlight similarities and connections within all of the data that you have gathered however it is not always going to be the best way forward:
- Using the software is not going to overcome poor skills with interpretation or poor data
- The auto coding functions will not be able to understand if wording has been used in a different context
- You can become engrossed in the process of coding and not take notice of the data
- You can end up distanced from the information that you are reviewing
In addition to this, you may find that the package is difficult to learn and use, something that may be a real issue if you are only going to use this the once for your dissertation and are unlikely to use it again. This is why so many students seek out statistical help for dissertation research from services such as ours.
We Can Support Qualitative Data Analysis with NVivo
Using NVivo in qualitative research is not an easy task no matter how skilled you may be within your actual field of study. Our specialized services can help you with all of your data processing, creating reports, and of course drawing conclusions from what the analysis shows.
Our experts are highly qualified in the fields in which they provide their support and are typically holders of doctorate level degrees. They are also experts in the use of statistical analysis, use of qualitative data, and of course NVivo software. Their skills ensure that your data can be analyzed quickly and effectively to support your research and dissertation writing.