Visualizations support the iterative nature of qualitative research and can help you at each stage of the research process.

  • Get started—set out and review initial ideas, hunches or theories related to your research question.
  • Research design and data collection—show how you arrived at your approach to data collection and analysis.
  • Data analysis (coding)—encourage deep thought by helping you build your knowledge about your research topic and gain a greater understanding of your project items.
  • Final write-up—include visualizations in your memos to document your findings, and export image files to include in your report or presentation.
Visualization Description Example


Present or explore your project and coding.

Example of a chart.

Hierarchy charts

See patterns in your coding or view the attribute values of cases and files.

Example of a hierarchy chart.

Mind maps

Brainstorm your ideas and visualize your thoughts.

Example of a Mind Map.

Concept maps

Define concepts and think through their connections.

Example of a Concept map.

Project maps

Display the items and links in your project.

Example of a Project map.

Comparison diagrams

See what two project items have in common and where they differ.

Example of a comparison diagram.

Explore diagrams

Show all the items connected to a single project item.

Example for an Explore diagram.

Cluster analysis diagrams

Find patterns in your project by seeing similarities and difference between files or nodes.

Example of a Cluster Analysis diagram.


Analyze social networks by displaying them as a diagram.

Example of a sociogram.