Monday, 15 February 2010

Saving time with Nvivo

Qualitative data analysis software can save time (Silverman) is my answer to Minh's assertion here that Word is so good. He writes some provocative blogs, worth reading.

I use NVivo 8 to store, search and retrieve interview text from 30 transcripts. After transcribing I code it against:
  1. general codes - process, structure, climate, facts, queries (see Checkland). For a query, I create linked annotations as to what the query is about and how I might follow it up.
  2. Metaphors, stories and anecdotes or words that strike me. For example, in one case study, participants used the word 'gel'. IN another type of organisation, people, more than once referred to "skin in the game". The shard use of the terms may indicate the culture.
  3. the theoretical framework for engagement, covering aspects of communication and knowledge-ability: mutuality, negotiation of meaning, environment, expertise, contribution, participation and adaptation.
Having coded, I use the NVivo query function. I'll search for a code to draw together all the text that I'd coded under facets of engagement. For a particular case study, I query all the relevant transcripts and documents and emails, copy and pate them into a Word document and then draw on them as reminders and examples as I write the analysis.

Another query I use is text query - I've heard a particular phrase - "Who said it?" I ask myself and search all the files to find it.

I use memos to create:
  • a to do list
  • a coding journal
  • thoughts on each case
  • thoughts one each code
  • key issues that arise
To develop theoretical aspects, I link from a source file to one of the memos, though I'm not very sure yet of the technicalities. I think cross linking will become more important as I move into cross case analysis. Then Nvivo should be of help in developing the theoretical aspects of my study.

Matrix queries then will be the next facility to experiment with to see what patterns I can find with certain attributes.

CHECKLAND, P. (1981) Systems thinking, systems practice.
SILVERMAN, D. (2005) Doing qualitative research : A practical handbook, London ; Thousand Oaks, Calif., Sage Publications.

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