Data coding is an important stage of conducting a qualitative study because it allows a researcher to organize ideas into specific coding hierarchies. Such structures contribute to clarifying the main themes and purposes of the project, locating concepts for transformation, and defining common patterns between pieces of information (Bazeley, 2007, p. 99). At this point, identifying concepts of a theme can create perspective for building broader contexts where several concepts can be united. These united patterns are presented as nodes that are organized as a result of coding process. While using NVivo 9, it is possible to arrange data in accordance with existing patterns and introduce a logical structured piece of information. The software will allow a research to turn the coding process into a set of systematic stages.
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Before proceeding with a coding process, it is purposeful to select the resources and materials that will be used for the synthesis. While overcoming all the stages of using NVivo, I have experienced both advantages and challenges. This is of particular concern to sorting out information and turning it into meaningful ideas. Specifically, the main benefit of using the program is a possibility to apply to different approaches while coding interview answers (Tutorials, 2011). I found it useful to restructure my interview so I could see all answers together to find out how those differ from one another. I could also create nodes and annotations. Another benefit of using NVivo was a possibility of creating themes automatically and defining the most frequently used words. It was also possible to organize data in accordance with demographic data because there was an option of classifying the participants according to gender, age, nationality, and location. In such a way, the software allowed me to look at the chart where answers were presented along with demographic characteristics. Overall, it took me much less time for organizing the participants’ responses into a set of nodes.
Despite the existing advantages, there were some technical constraints that I had to overcome to smooth over the coding process. Specifically, I was challenged by the actual process of activating and using the software. However, when I referred to the frequently asked questions and answers, I realized that other researchers had the same concerns. Hence, the most popular questions were associated with the problem of starting the coding and putting the documents into operation (Frequently Asked Questions, 2011). So, I looked through the responses to find out the one that would solve my problem. Besides, the tutorials posted on the official support website were also quite helpful because they show the main stages of program installing and using in detail. More importantly, the reference to practical example helped me foresee the process and understand which steps should be taken to conduct my own research and sort out important information out of the interviews document.
In conclusion, it should be stated that NVivo 9 is a valuable contribution to the field of scientific research because it significantly reduces the time needed for research and strengthens the quality of qualitative research. The software itself is easy to use where each function is clearly defined. A research can effectively arrange information. What is more important is that the program has various alternatives for a researcher to choose the most suitable ones for processing and coding data.
Bazeley, P. (2007). Qualitative data analysis with NVivo. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
Frequently Asked Questions. (2011) QSR International. Web.
Tutorials. (2011). QSR International. Web.