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Getting Started with NVivo

Basic guidelines on NVivo software

What is NVivo?

NVivo is a Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis (CAQDAS) software, that allows you to collect, organise, analyse and visualise unstructured or semi-structured data. With NVivo you can import data in a range of file formats, organise demographic data, code sources, capture ideas, run queries and visualise project items. 

NVivo Key Terms

  • Sources are your research materials including documents, PDFs, datasets, audio, video, pictures, memos and framework matrices.
  • Source classifications let you record information about your sources—for example, bibliographical data.
  • Coding is the process of gathering material by topic, theme or case. For example, selecting a paragraph about water quality and coding it at the theme node ‘water quality’.
  • Nodes are containers for your coding that represent themes, topics or other concepts—they let you gather related material in one place so that you can look for emerging patterns and ideas.
  • Cases are containers for your coding that represent your ‘units of observation’—for example, people, places, organizations or artifacts.
  • Case classifications allow to you record information about cases—for example, demographic data about people. 
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