Data visualisation using mind maps in Nvivo

The previous article explained the data visualisation techniques using cluster analysis and stated the ways to present connections between nodes and codes. This article explains how to generate result maps through visualisations in Nvivo. Mapping in visualisations are carried out through two processes:

  1. mind maps and
  2. concept maps.

Mind maps are used to brainstorm ideas and visualize thoughts. A mind map begins with a main idea around which associated elements are drawn. They are useful for representing a node hierarchy. They represent a study in the form of a diagram denoting a story. In this article the case research has been used to demonstrate a mind map using Nvivo. To start with mind maps, follow these steps:

  1. Click on ‘Explore’ in Nvivo
  2. Click on ‘Mind Maps’

A dialogue box will appear (figure below).

Figure 1: Dialogue box for generating mind maps in Nvivo

Figure 1: Dialogue box for generating mind maps in Nvivo

After naming the mind map, (‘Quality of Education’), click on ‘OK’. The ribbon now contains an additional option ‘Mind Map’ (figure below).

Figure 2: Additional mind map tools in Nvivo

Figure 2: Additional mind map tools in Nvivo

This has three important tools that is useful during mind mapping, which are:

  • Sibling ideas
  • Child ideas
  • Floating ideas

Generating mind map using ‘Sibling Idea’ in Nvivo

Sibling ideas are thoughts that are connected with the central idea of a study. It can be represented through a Mind Map. In the case research, ‘Student’s performance’ is the sibling idea associated with ‘Quality of Education in Schools’. To attach student’s performance as a sibling idea, follow these steps:

  1. Click on ‘Main Idea’ (Quality of Higher Education in this case).
  2. Click on ‘Sibling idea’.

Or

  1. Click on ‘Main Idea’ (Quality of Higher Education in this case).
  2. Press ‘Enter’.

A new window appears alongside the main idea. Double click on the box and name it. The figure below shows the sibling idea in the case research.

Figure3: Creating and locating sibling ideas on mind map in Nvivo

Figure3: Creating and locating sibling ideas on mind map in Nvivo

Similarly, all connected thoughts can be added in the mind map through ‘Sibling Ideas’. The map in the figure below shows all sibling ideas related to case research.

Figure 4: Mind map of quality education in Nvivo

Figure 4: Mind map of quality education in Nvivo

Generating mind map using ‘Child Ideas’ in Nvivo

Child Ideas are thoughts behind sibling ideas. They are connected to the main idea. To add a child idea:

  1. Click on a Sibling Idea (Curriculum activities in case research).
  2. Click on Child Idea (in ribbon).

Or

  1. Click on a Sibling Idea (Curriculum activities in case research).
  2. Press ‘Insert’.

The figure below shows this step.

Figure 5: Selected child ideas option to convey detail thoughts about sibling thoughts

Figure 5: Selected child ideas option to convey detail thoughts about sibling thoughts

For instance, a child idea for ‘Curriculum quality’ includes responses collected on co-curricular activities. Responses on ‘Curriculum quality’ include ‘curriculum needs improvement’, ‘curriculum is already fine’ and ‘cannot comment’ (figure below).

Figure 6: Child idea for curriculum quality in case research of Nvivo

Figure 6: Child idea for curriculum quality in case research of Nvivo

Generating mind maps using ‘Floating Ideas’ in Nvivo

Floating ideas are the thoughts which may or may not associate with the main idea. For example, ‘quality of education’ may or may not be connected with ‘teacher’s ability or preference for teaching’. Therefore ‘quality of education’ can be used as a floating idea. It can be represented in mind maps

  1. Click on ‘Main Idea’ (Quality of Higher Education in this case).
  2. Click on ‘Floating Idea’.

Or

  1. Click on ‘Main Idea’ (Quality of Higher Education in this case).
  2. Press F2.

The figure below represents this step.

Figure 7: Floating ideas in mind mapping in Nvivo

Figure 7: Floating ideas in mind mapping in Nvivo

The figure below represents a mind map including all siblings (primary), child (secondary) and floating ideas.

Figure 8: Complete mind map of case research in Nvivo

Figure 8: Complete mind map of case research in Nvivo

Mind map tools also include ‘Layout’ and ‘Format shape’ options to enable formatting:

  • Layout tool: It helps to change the structure or shape of the mind map. The options are fishbone, organizational, tree shape, etc. The case research mind map uses ‘organisational’ layout.
  • Format shape tool: It helps to fill colors, change shape, and alter shape of ideas within the mind maps.
Figure 9: Additional mind map tools in Nvivo

Figure 9: Additional mind map tools in Nvivo

In this case, mind map demonstrated the primary and secondary nodal structure associated with ‘Quality of Higher Education’’. Figure 7 shows the same. It is better than manual interpretation as it eliminates the chances of bias or error. Concept maps can also help perform visualisation. The following article explains the process of creating concept maps.

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.

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