Data analysis by generating Nvivo coding query

The next step after processing data through coding and creating memos and classifications is analysis. Nvivo coding query eases the understanding of nodes and their interconnections. Given the vast array of nodes generated, researchers find it difficult to connect two nodes. Therefore examining elements and checking if such connection is possible is also challenging.

‘Queries’ in such situations assists in establishing connections and analyzing them. A ‘Query’ is generated to answer a question related to the project. For instance, the relationship between two nodes or one node and an attribute in qualitative analysis. There are three different query tools in Nvivo Pro and Nvivo Plus:

  1. Coding query
  2. Word frequency
  3. Coding matrix

This article covers the first type, coding query. The remaining two, i.e. word frequency and coding matrix are covered in the proceeding articles.

After coding (manual or auto), questions related to it can arise. One of the ways for asking questions is to generate an Nvivo coding query. For instance, in the case research, query regarding students’ performance in South Delhi schools (query on nodes regarding location attributes). To find out if the two nodes concerning ‘students’ performance’ and ‘students’ participation’ have any common code (node to node comparison query). For such purposes, coding query is useful. However, a ‘query’ does not generate correlation matrix. For this visit the article describing cluster technique under qualitative representation of data.

Nvivo coding query on nodes regarding attributes

Query: What is the students’ participation rate and performance in South Delhi schools?

To initiate the coding query for this question:

  1. Click on ‘Query’
  2. Click on ‘Coding Query’
  3. Select ‘Coding Query’ window will appear (Figure 1)
Figure 1: Coding query search option

Figure 1: Coding query search option in Nvivo

There are various search drop down icons in ‘Coding Query’ window. The selected ones will easily perform a query. Click on the icon ‘All Selected Nodes’ as shown in the figure above. This icon contains three drop down options:

  1. All Selected Cases.
  2. Any Selected Code.
  3. Any Case Where.

‘All Selected Cases’ helps to explore only a single node. ‘Any Selected Code’ helps to compare or explore two nodes simultaneously like in the present case, student’s participation and student’s performance. ‘Any Case Where’ option helps in coding queries based on attributes like in present case, school location as South Delhi. Selecting two of three drop down options in the present case; ‘All Selected Case’ and then narrowing the choice with either ‘Any Selected Node’ or ‘Any Case Where’ will show an additional drop down icon.

Figure 2: Coded at options to select concerned nodes

Figure 2: Coded at options to select concerned nodes

Step 1: Selecting concerned nodes

Since this query is based on two nodes, selectAny Selected Code’. Click on three dots (‘…’) to locate the concerned nodes to perform query. In the case research, the concerned nodes are students’ participation and performance.

Figure 3: To locate the concerned nodes in coding query

Figure 3: To locate the concerned nodes in coding query

After clicking on the three dots, a dialogue box will appear. It shows all the nodes, cases, sources and classification to select for coding queries. Select the concerned nodes; students’ participation and performance in case research and click on ‘OK’.

Figure 4: Dialogue box representing concerned codes

Figure 4: Dialogue box representing concerned codes

Step 2: Select attribute

The next step is to select the attribute (location as per our question). To get another drop down icon for selecting attribute, click on the “+” sign.

Figure 6: Adding another drop down icon in search

Figure 5: Adding another drop down icon in search

Select ‘Any Case Where’, since the next item for Nvivo coding query is attribute. Just like in case of nodes, click on three dots in adjacent and select concerned attribute (location in case research) to perform the coding query.

Figure 6: Select drop down option for 'Attribute'

Figure 6: Select drop down option for ‘Attribute’

After clicking on the three dots, a dialogue box will appear to select the required attribute for performing coding query. Select the concerned attribute (like location in case research) and click on ‘OK’.

Figure 7: Selecting the concerned attribute

Figure 7: Selecting the concerned attribute

Step 3: Choosing values of attributes

Next, choose the values of attributes to research in the selected nodes. For instance, to analyze the performance and participation of students based on their school location. Since, school location is content variable, select “equals value” in the next drop down (figure 9).

Figure 8: Selecting 'Value' parameter in search panel

Figure 8: Selecting ‘Value’ parameter in search panel

The next drop down now allows selecting an attribute for analyzing nodes. For instance, to see student’s participation and performance in South Delhi, select ‘South Delhi’.

Figure 10: Select 'Location' value in last drop down icon

Figure 9: Select ‘Location’ value in last drop down icon

After selecting the required options, the coding query search window will appear. Click on ‘Run Query’ to generate results.

Figure 10: 'Run Query' tab on search panel

Figure 10: ‘Run Query’ tab on search panel

The results are generated in three formats:

  1. ‘Summary’,
  2. ‘References’ and
  3. ‘Texts’.

The figure below represents the results in the format of ‘References’. References link directly to the interview transcripts carrying codes content as per the query.

Nvivo coding query results under 'references'

Figure 11: Nvivo coding query results under ‘references’

The figure below shows results in the format of ‘Summary’. Summary links directly to the interview transcripts carrying codes content as per the query. The % in the ‘Coverage’ column represents the intersection found in selected nodes with respect to selected attribute (location). For instance, Namita’s response on student performance is covered by 3.49% out of the entire responses on the particular node and Natasha’s 4.97%. The content can be viewed by clicking on the interview.

Figure 12: Coding query results in summary format

Figure 12: ‘Coding Query’ results in summary format

Generating Nvivo coding query on word frequency and coding matrix

‘Coding Query’ therefore helps to view the results on the basis of intersection between different nodes and between nodes and classification. In the case research, ‘coding query’ reflected the transcripts containing the selected nodes (student’s participation and student’s performance) of teachers (Namita and Natasha) belonging to the schools of South Delhi. Queries can also be generated using ‘word frequency’ and ‘coding matrix’ for responses obtained in each node and attribute in Nvivo.

Priya Chetty

Partner at Project Guru
Priya Chetty writes frequently about advertising, media, marketing and finance. In addition to posting daily to Project Guru Knowledge Tank, she is currently in the editorial board of Research & Analysis wing of Project Guru. She emphasizes more on refined content for Project Guru's various paid services. She has also reviewed about various insights of the social insider by writing articles about what social media means for the media and marketing industries. She has also worked in outdoor media agencies like MPG and hotel marketing companies like CarePlus.

Related articles

  • Generating Nvivo matrix coding query Queries can be generated in Nvivo by 3 ways; words, content and matrix coding. Not only words but also by number of nodes or classification in different nodes and attributes. For that purpose, Nvivo matrix coding query is useful.
  • Generating Nvivo word frequency query Nvivo word frequency query helps to list the most frequent words in the transcripts. It helps to search textual content of sources, nodes, folders and cases. This article explains how to generate  Nvivo word frequency query.
  • Procedure to create different types of nodes in Nvivo A computer assisted qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS) like Nvivo enables researchers to process qualitative data systematically by breaking the responses into nodes.
  • Understanding Auto-Coding in Nvivo Earlier we discussed about creating nodes  which acts as ‘sticky notes’ denoting particular themes or topics common across the qualitative data.
  • Importing sources and creating new documents and memos in Nvivo Sources is a menu to save research material including interviews, surveys, pictures, audios and any other type of files.


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