Nvivo’s interface and its utility in analyzing qualitative data

Nvivo is a computer assisted qualitative data analysis software (CAQDAS) used for organizing and analyzing unstructured data-set. Unstructured data sets are typically a heave of text documents containing information in not any pre-designed manner. Nvivo’s interface offers data management toolkit and broadly supports both qualitative and mixed research methods. Unstructured texts such as:

  • interviews,
  • open-ended questionnaires,
  • articles,
  • journal articles,
  • web content
  • and even audio, video and image data are analyzed using Nvivo.

It is available for both Windows and Macintosh operating systems.

Additionally, Nvivo’s interface has greater data handling capability with the versatility of holding different types of data (texts and numbers). With its newer update by QSR international, Nvivo also allows the imports of Tweets, Facebook Post and YouTube comments and data can be coded. Therefore, flexibility in management of various types of data is its key contribution to the world of analytics.

An introduction to Nvivo’s interface

Nvivo comprises three separate windows with the ribbon above containing options for editing. The ribbon represents Quick Access toolbar (Just like MS Excel). Nvivo also contains Source Window, Internals window and detailed window.

Nvivo's interface after opening the software

Figure 1: Outline of opening page of NVivo

Individual Windows

Source Window (Navigation View)

Nagivation view off Nvivo

Figure 2: Navigation View of Nvivo

The Source window looks like the above diagram. The components of Source Windows are the following:

  • The Internal folder is where Word files and PDF files are saved and stored. They are transcripts representing responses of from surveys or interviews.
  • Memos capture the idea of research and recording the progress (see figure 3).
Nvivo's interface also provide the Memos feature

Figure 3: Memos Feature of Nvivo

  • Nodes folder contains the theme of the research or the analytical framework used in the research. The research has Attitude, Community, Economy, Natural Environment, Policy Management, Memorable Quotes and Balance recorded by individual respondents.
  • The Cases folder contains the unit observations by name of people and location.
Nvivo also provides the Node feature

Figure 4: Nodes Feature of Nvivo

  • Classification is used for classifying details of the responses. For example, demographic attributes of the research participants.
  • Collection gives different ways to organize your material. For example, one can compile different sources or Nodes at one folder. The Annotation tab allows to determine all the commons, reminders and observations of the content.
  • Queries tab allows to save queries with Nvivo.

Internal Window (List View)

Internal View of Nvivo

Figure 5: Internal View of Nvivo

Internal Window is the extension of interview responses that are saved in Sources (Navigation option). For example, when clicked on Interviews, the list of files imported will be displayed in the List View as in the below figure.

Nvivo's internal window interface

Figure 6: Internal Window of Nvivo

Detail View

Detail View of Nvivo's interface

Figure 7: Nvivo’s interface for detail view

Detail view is the extension of internal window (see above figure). The detail view will open when one of the interview documents is selected.

For example, if you select interview by Dorothy, her document will appear on the right-hand side of the window (see figure  below).

Nvivo's interface is especially designed to provide the detail view of interviews for qualitative analysis

Figure 8: Detail View of Interviews in Nvivo

Nvivo’s interface with the Ribbon (Toolbar) 

To access the commands for management and analysis of data, the ribbon is vital. Quick toolbar access, known as Ribbon of Nvivo, is shown in Figure 2. Further, what each of these parameters signifies is also displayed in figure below.

Nvivo's interface and its toolbar for ribbon

Ribbon Toolbar of Nvivo

  • File: The file option in the ribbon allows to open existing projects or create new projects. Also, the file option will leads to options such as copy projects, print projects, Help and other options.
  • Home: Provides the options of “Go”, “Refresh”, “Properties of document” and “Edit”. Tab Go will lead to:
    • Sources,
    • Nodes,
    • Classification,
    • Collection and
    • Queries.
  • Folder Properties option will lead to fill the information about the folder such as Name, Description, Item and Date (figure 3). Option Edit will allows to edit the documents imported in Nvivo as a transcript.
  • External Data: Allows for commands relating to the activity that to perform.
  • Analyze: Provides the options for analyzing data.
  • Query: Indicates the queries that have assembled while working on the project.
  • Explore: Helps with data exploration.
Divya Dhuria

Divya Dhuria

Research analyst at Project Guru
DIvya has a keen interest in policy making and wealth management. She is a Master in Economics from Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics. She has been trained in the econometric techniques to assess different possible economic relationships. She hascontributed to the working paper on National Rural Health Mission at Institute of economic growth, Delhi. Along with academical growth, she likes to explore and visit different places in her spare time.
Divya Dhuria

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