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Matrix coding query

Coding matrices

Coding matrices provide a way to see coding intersections between two lists of items in your project.

For example, a coding matrix can be used to compare what small businesses and large businesses say about different forms of renewable energy. Each cell in the matrix represents a code containing the content coded to the intersection of the row and column.

Node matrix showing intersection of coding at rows and columns.

1 Columns—contains the items you select to display in columns—for example, small businesses and large businesses.

2 Rows—contains the items you select to display in rows—for example, wind power, solar power, hydro power, biofuel, and geothermal.

3 Cells—this can include the number of coding references at the intersection of a row and column—for example, How many comments do large businesses have about solar power? You can change the cell content—for example, to display number of files or words coded. The status bar indicates the type of cell content currently displayed.

4 Click the Chart tab to see a visual representation of the matrix.

How are coding matrices created?

Coding matrices are created when you:

  • Run a Matrix Coding query.  With matrix coding queries, you can ask a  wide range of questions about patterns in the data and gain access to the content that shows those patterns.
    For example, you could create a Matrix Coding query to compare what small businesses and large businesses say about different forms of renewable energy. The results are displayed in a coding matrix. Each cell in the matrix represents a code containing the content coded to the intersection of the row and column.
  • Use pattern-based autocoding. When you autocode using existing coding patterns, the results can be saved into your project in the Coding Matrices folder. This coding matrix represents a static record of the automatic coding by the Wizard and is not updated if you subsequently uncode some of the content. (This feature is only available in NVivo installations with coding enhancements enabled.)
  • Import a survey and choose to autocode themes. (This feature is only available in NVivo installations with coding enhancements enabled.)

Open and navigate coding matrices

When you run a Matrix Coding query, you can choose to store the results in either the Coding Matrices folder (as a coding matrix) or the Query Results folder (as a results coding matrix).  

Both of these folders are located in the Queries folder in Navigation View.

Search folder in Navigation View.

If you store the coding matrix in the Query Results folder, it remains linked to the query that generated it.  You open and navigate coding matrices in the same way, no matter where you choose to store them. Manage query results

You can double-click a coding matrix in List View to open it in Detail View. If you want to see the matrix results as a chart, click the Chart tab on the right.

You can expand the column widths or use the scroll bars. You can double-click on a cell in the matrix to open the code containing the content coded to the intersection of the row and column codes.

What can I do in a coding matrix?

You can open a code from a matrix cell to see all the content coded to the cell (at both the row and column codes)—double click on the cell to open the code.

You can also:

  • Apply shading to cells to make it easier to see patterns in the matrix
  • Change the information displayed in the matrix cells—for example number of files coded or number of codes coded
  • Filter or sort the matrix
  • Transpose the columns and rows

Although the cells represent codes that you can open and explore, you cannot code to codes in the matrix.

Convert a coding matrix into a code hierarchy

Once you have created a coding matrix you can:

  • Copy or move the matrix into the Codes folder—this creates a hierarchical code structure based on the cells within the matrix.
  • Copy or move the matrix from the Query Results folder into the Coding Matrices folder—this makes it part of your code structure and removes the link to the underlying Matrix Coding query

Export a coding matrix

You can export a coding matrix to a text or spreadsheet file or as an SPSS sav file. This can be useful if you want to share the matrix with someone who does not have NVivo or want to include the matrix in a report.

  1. In List View, select the coding matrix you want to export.
  2. On the Share tab, in the Export group, click Export.
  3. (Optional) Choose a different location to save the file to.
  4. (Optional) Change the file name.
  5. In the Save as type box, choose the file format for the exported file.
  6. Click Save.