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Datasets

Approaches to analyzing survey results

When you open the dataset in Detail View, you can visually explore the dataset. When you are working with the dataset in Detail View, you can:

  • Hide columns to limit the amount of data you are looking at—for example, if you want to see the first column in your dataset next to the fifth column, you can hide the intervening columns.
  • Manually code survey responses at nodes representing the themes in your data.

You can also run queries to find and code at themes in your data:

Gather responses to each question

Do you want to see how all respondents replied to a question? Gathering responses to each survey question at a node allows you to group the data into broad themes.

You can code the column manually or automatically:

  • You can select the entire column and manually code it at a new node called Question 1
  • You can use the Auto Code Assistant —select Code at nodes for selected columns. This is useful when you have many columns containing responses to different survey questions.

NOTE  When each respondent is represented by multiple rows (a row per survey question), you can still use the Auto Code Assistant to gather the responses to a single question at a node.

Whichever method you use, you will create and code at the following nodes:

  • Question 1
  • Question 2

Once you have grouped all responses to a question at a single node, you can use some of NVivo's powerful analysis tools, including:

  • Open the node and visually explore content coded at the node. From here you could 'code on' to more granular thematic groupings. For example, you could gather all answers which mentioned car-free zones.
  • Run a Word Frequency query (using the node in the scope of the query) to find common words or concepts in responses to Question 1.
  • Run a Text Search query looking for particular words or concepts, using the node in the scope of the query. For example, you could search for education and code all the results at a new node.

Gather responses of each survey respondent

If your data contains classifying fields that describe your survey participants—for example, the name, age and sex of the participant—you can use these fields to create and classify case nodes that represent your survey participants. You can code everything a participant said in response to survey questions at the case node that represents them and also assign the attribute values to the case.

Use the Auto Code Assistant, to code content at case nodes and also classify the cases:

  1. Select Code at cases for each value in a column, to code the Question 1 and Question 2 responses at nodes representing the values from the 'Respondent' column. This creates the following case nodes:
    • Anna
    • Jack
    • Maria
    • Peter
  2. On the final step of the Assistant, choose Classify cases from classifying columns. The case nodes are classified with the attribute values from the classifying columns. Using the example data above, the case node Anna would be classified with the attribute values Age=29 and Sex=Female.

Once you have created and coded responses at cases for each respondent, you can use analysis tools which compare their attribute values. You can:

  • Run a Word Frequency query (using the case in the scope of the query) to find common words or concepts in responses to Question 1. You could code the results at new nodes to further refine your analysis.
  • Run a Text Search query looking for particular words or concepts, using the case in the scope of the query. For example, you could search for education and code all the results at a new node.

When you have gathered responses both at question nodes (Question 1, Question 2 ) and at respondent case nodes (Anna, Jack, Maria, Peter), you can analyze what respondents in different demographic groups are saying in response to particular questions:

  • Use a Coding query to view all the responses of males to Question 1.
  • If you save the results of your coding query (above) as a node, you can use a Word Frequency query to find the most commonly occurring words or ideas that males mention when responding to Question 1

NOTE  If each respondent is represented by multiple rows (a row per survey question), you can still use the Auto Code Assistant to gather each person's responses at a node.