Nvivo software is one of the most suitable software for qualitative data analysis. This is due to its ability to accept different data types emanating from different sources. This data includes information obtained from both primary and secondary sources. Primary data imported in Nvivo includes:
- written interview transcripts (word documents),
- survey results,
- audio & video recordings, pictures,
- web pages and
- social media content.
On the other hand, secondary data such as literature review is carried out through annual reports (PDF files) of organisations and bibliographical data is extracted from databases like Mendeley and Endnote. This article explores different sources of quantitative and qualitative data that can be analysed with NVivo and steps to import data.
Importing data from different types of files in Nvivo
To import data from external sources into Nvivo follow:
Open Nvivo Project>Data (in ribbon) (External Data in case of Nvivo 10)
Nvivo allows importing all types of data from the “DATA” toolbar. Import interview transcripts (eg. Microsoft office files) through Documents”, articles such as PDF files from “PDFs”, Survey results (eg. Survey Monkey) from “Survey”, audio files from the icon “Audios”, Picture files in the format of BMP, G/F, JPG, TIF and PNG formats from “Pictures” and video files in the format of MP3, WMA, WAV, M4A, MPG, MPE, WMV, AVI, MOV, QT, MP4, 3GP, MTS and M2TS formats from “Videos” icon.
For more clarity, we can divide the type of materials into two broad sections, which are:
- Qualitative data includes interview transcripts, articles, audio, video and pictures.
- Quantitative data includes an excel sheet or direct survey results from survey development portals like Survey Monkey.
In this section different types of qualitative data has been explained and the procedure to import data into Nvivo. Different types of qualitative data include documents, PDF, audio and video files.
Documents (interview transcripts)
To import interview data collected through transcripts, add interview transcripts to the “Interviews” to keep it as an appendix (Figure 2). To do this, follow these steps:
Step 1: Move the cursor on Internals >right click and select New Folder > Name the folder as Interviews
Step 2: Interviews>Data (on ribbon) > Documents > Dialogue box will open as shown in Figure 2
Step 3: Click on Browse > locate interview transcripts in system> select all the files > Open
After clicking on “Open”, one can see that all the transcripts files have been imported and shown in folder “Interviews” (Figure 3).
Portable Document Format (PDF) files
Nvivo also allows importing PDF files from the “DATA” toolbar option. Just like Interviews transcripts are utilized to perform analysis in Nvivo, PDF files are also used to perform analysis of interviews and annual reports in Nvivo. To import these files, create a subfolder in Internals as literature review through the following steps:
Step 1:Move the cursor on Internals > right click and select New Folder > Name the folder as Literature Review
To import the articles as PDF in the Literature Review folder,
Step 2:Click on Literature Review > click on Data (on ribbon) > click on PDFs > dialogue box will open as in figure 4
Step 3: Click on Browse, locate articles related to project in system > select all the files > click Open as in figure 5
After clicking on “Open”, view them as PDF files in the folder Literature Review.
Importing audio files in Nvivo
Interviews conducted as audio recordings on social media or other portals are helpful to achieve the project aim. In such cases, import audio files into Nvivo. Either save audio files in the “Interview folder” or make a separate folder:
Move the cursor on Internals > right click and select New Folder > Name the folder as Audio Results
Click on DATA (in ribbon) > click on AUDIO option > browse audio files > click Okay to import
A dialogue box namely “Audio Properties” will open as shown in figure 6
The general page of “Audio properties” contains the basic details of the audio file like “Name of file”, “Location”( in Nvivo), “Size”, “colour”, “created and modified”.
Figure 7 shows the audio page of the Audio Property dialogue box:
The Audio page allows to select either “Embedded in project” or “Not embedded”. For this article “Embedded” is selected for analysis so that the audio file becomes part of project items. Select “Ok” to continue further. View the audio files on the saved location.
Nvivo provides additional Media tools to operate audio files in the project. Click on the audio files to open in “Detail View” as shown in figure 8:
The audio file is open in detail view with its separate list of media tools in the ribbon. “Media tools” for audio can be seen in more details in below figure 9.
Use the tool option “Play”, “Stop”, “Select”, “Stop”, “Rewind”, “Forward” to listen to the audio files. Edit by choosing “Click to edit” (indicated in figure 8) and make notes in the detail view only. A content page will open beneath the audio file (in detail view) as shown in figure 10. Here, simultaneously note down the points recovered in the files while listening to the audio.
After noting the details, save the details of the audio file within the Audio page.
Importing qualitative data in the form of videos and pictures in Nvivo
Just like Audio files, Nvivo also allows importing video files and picture files. In the case of videos and pictures, notes can be made. Figures 11 and 12 represents how pictures and videos look in the detail view of Nvivo.
Importing quantitative data in Nvivo for analysis
The previous section explains different types of qualitative data and the procedure to import data into Nvivo. This section will focus on importing different types of quantitative data in Nvivo
Excel sheet (survey results)
Nvivo also allows importing survey results directly from survey development websites, excel sheets and other text files. The data extracted from these surveys is quantitative in terms and thus can be used for quantitative analysis. Therefore, to import the same, create a subfolder in “Internals” as survey results through the following steps.
Move the cursor on Internals > right click and select New Folder > Name the folder as Survey Results
Since in the case of taking survey results directly from Survey monkey, import the responses through excel sheets only. The process of importing excel sheet in Nvivo:
Click on DATA (in ribbon) > click on SURVEY option > select Microsoft Excel files
After clicking on “MS Excel”, Nvivo allows browsing excel file from the system. After importing the excel sheet, a survey import wizard will open as shown in figure 14.
After opening the wizard click on “Next” in the lowest right corner of the wizard to go to the next step (shown in figure 14).
In the next step check if Nvivo has identified the data format correctly in the given excel sheet.
For example, in figure 15 above, Nvivo has correctly identified a number of rows used as column headers and order in date. If the Nvivo has not identified correctly, manually change the same using drop-down options (indicated in figure 15).
After that, press “Next” at the lowest right to the wizard.
After checking the data format, the next step of the wizard allows finding the location of the excel sheet in cases. It also automatically identifies a unique ID for every question through an excel sheet (one can view all the Ids through dropdown). Finally, the wizard asks if one wants to create a new classification or add this information to an existing one. After selecting all the options, again press “Next” in the lowest right corner of the wizard.
Afterwards, the next wizard allows users to preview the questions through an excel sheet and see if Nvivo has correctly identified the type of questions asked in the survey.
For example, in above figure 17, the Nvivo correctly identified the questions asked in the imported excel sheet are close-ended. After the preview, we can press “Finish” to import the excel sheet in Nvivo.
Now view the excel sheet in Nvivo at two locations
Survey Results >> Internals >> Sources
Survey Respondents >> Case Classification >> Classification
Having discussed the importing steps of primary data, it is now important to understand the importing of bibliographical data as well. However, bibliographical data is magnanimous and is assistive to perform a review of a vast literature from journals of several years or field.