Analyzing Qualitative Data Using NVivo

  • Dimitri Mortelmans


This chapter discusses NVivo, a software program to perform Computer Assisted Qualitative Data Analysis. The chapter first presents a critical appraisal of this type of research software in the qualitative research cycle. Even though NVivo and other qualitative software programs are considered today as evident tools for the qualitative researcher, several critical objections have been made against it: the legitimation of any analysis by using software, conflation of qualitative data analysis with the coding process, distancing a researcher from his data and the issue of oversized qualitative research projects. Despite this criticism, NVivo is a helpful tool to gain depth and breath in one’s analysis. The second part of the chapter illustrates the triple power of NVivo: data management, data coding and data analysis by querying coded material or developing conceptual models. The chapter concludes with the observation that NVivo is a multipurpose tool that allows researchers to find their own way and handle a multitude of textual and audio-visual material in numerous ways. NVivo originated in the Grounded Theory tradition but used the qualitative research community to evolve to the all-encompassing application helpful for a wide range of qualitative and mixed methods studies.


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Further Reading and Online Sources

  1. Bazeley, P. (2013). Qualitative data analysis: Practical strategies. London: Sage.Google Scholar
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  4. QSR International distributes NVivo. On their web page ( you can find several starting guides, free video tutorials, webinars and a large FAQ and help section. Most of the material is of excellent quality and an invaluable starting point for new users.

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dimitri Mortelmans
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of SociologyUniversity of AntwerpAntwerpBelgium

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