Data visualisation through concept maps in Nvivo
As discussed in the article Data Visualisation using Mind Maps in NVIVO, visualisations of nodes can take place using two types of maps:
- mind maps and
- concept maps.
Mind maps portray the connection between nodes. Concept maps on the other hand help visualise thoughts, define concepts and contemplate the connections. It is a free form visualisation and consists of different shapes and connectors. Concept maps are made alongside qualitative data analysis to capture all the thoughts visually. Follow the below steps to generate concept maps:
- Click on ‘Explore’
- Click on ‘Concepts Map’
A dialogue box will appear (figure below):
Name the concept map. For instance, to find the contribution of teachers to the quality of high school education, name it ‘Teacher’s Contribution to Concept Map of case research’. The figure below displays the concept map:
Adding shapes to concept maps
Add shapes from the available options in ‘Concept Map’ window (figure below). To do so, drag the selected shape in ‘Concept Map’ canvas. To delete the shape, right click and choose ‘delete’ option.
Next, write on it the focus point of the concept map. In the case research, the focus point is ‘Teacher’s contribution to the Quality of Higher education’ (figure below).
Connecting concept maps to focus points
Now connect the concepts associated with the focus point in the same way as figure 2 & 3. In the case research, ‘teacher’s willingness to teach’ and ‘teacher’s ability to teach’ are related to ‘teacher’s contribution’. To add both, drag selected shapes and name them respectively (figure below).
Using tools connector to indicate impact on focus point
The associated thoughts should indicate their impact on the focus point. In this case they should point towards teacher’s contribution. For that use concept mind tools connector options (see figure below). Three important concepts map tools which are of use are:
- Pointer: An arrow symbol which helps to change the position of different shapes in concept map.
- Connector: Helps visualise connections between the different shapes in a concept map.
- Add Project Items: It helps add project items like nodes, cases, interviews or other PDFs as reference in concept map.
Use connectors by dragging and linking two points. In this case, drag from ‘teacher’s willingness to teach’ to link it with ‘teacher’s contribution’. An arrow between the associated and focus points will appear (see figure below). Name these arrows by clicking on them.
The associated thoughts in concept maps can be linked to its references. Articles or PDF files carrying studies can be added and used as associated thoughts. To do so, click on ‘Add Project Item’ (In concept tools) and use connectors to connect the respective thoughts (figure below).
The case research contains references in the form of PDF files. They pertain to ‘teacher’s ability and preferences’ as a contributing factor towards ‘teacher’s contribution’. These references were initially saved in ‘Sources’, under ‘Literature Review’ (see figure below).
After dragging and connecting PDF references, the concept map appears (figure below). Concepts maps are not the part of data representation. Rather, it is an activity to frequently record all the thoughts at one place during the research. Concepts maps are not static. Upgrade them while adding new information or an idea.
Summarisation of data through framework matrices
Visualisation of data reflecting connection among nodes is import in research. It enables understanding the association between major elements of the study. However, visualisation alone does not suffice the purpose of presenting a systematic overview of the problem. For that summarisation of data through framework matrices and reports & extracts is also significant. They present the results and analysis into grid/report format, providing it a structure. The succeeding article summarises results of the case research through reports & extracts.