We’re always searching for ways to make NVivo more flexible and easier to use. We’ve already revealed that the way you organize and work with your ‘nodes’ or themes has changed in NVivo 9. You can create nodes as you need them, and now choose to classify them right away or classify them later. It’s a simpler, more logical, more fluid process.
Now, we’d like to share more changes to the way you organize and classify your data. They’re a direct result of your suggestions: like the option to assign your own colors to your nodes; the ability to aggregate nodes stored in a hierarchy; and the ability to save the criteria you’ve used to ‘find’ information and project items and re run them later.
Color your project
NVivo 9 will allow you to assign your own colors to nodes, and see them throughout your project, in coding stripes, charts and models for example. You’ll have seven colors to choose from, and the flexibility to select colors that mean something to you.
For example, use the color red to represent all positive themes or nodes in your project, and blue to represent all negative themes. What makes this feature really powerful, is that you can work with the colors you’ve assigned. For example, run a query in NVivo 9 to see all of the coding at nodes (that is, references classified to themes) that are colored red.
What’s more, you can choose to assign your own colors, or let NVivo simply use default colors. Assign your own colors across all nodes, sources, attribute values and users, or assign colors only for certain project items (such as nodes) and you won’t see these colors anywhere else. The choice is yours because NVivo 9 is more flexible than ever.
Coding can now be aggregated
NVivo has always allowed you to structure your nodes or themes to suit your project. You can see your nodes in a hierarchy, with top level (or ‘parent’) nodes, and sub (or ‘child’) nodes placed underneath them. For example, in a project about climate change, your parent node might represent a factory, and each manager that was interviewed could be represented as a child node.
Using this example, currently in NVivo 8, all of the information stored under each manager’s node can only be viewed by opening that specific node. Now, in NVivo 9, you have the flexibility to also take a new high level view, and choose to see all of the coding in your child nodes, ‘rolled up’ into the parent node. For example, you can open the top level node that represents the factory, and see all of the information you coded to the factory, as well as all of the information recorded against each manager. In other words, all of your coding can now be aggregated.
“Finds” evolve with your project
Currently in NVivo, you can use a feature called “find” to search for items that meet specific criteria. For example, “find all of the nodes that have been created in the last month” or “find all of the nodes created by Anna”. While you can run these ‘finds’ and save the results, up until now there has been no way to save the actual criteria you used. This means if you want to run exactly the same find later, you’ll need to recreate it again.
In NVivo 9 you’ll be able to save the criteria for a find into a “search folder”. So if you need to re run the same find at different stages of your project, you’ll be able to do so with a single click. This means your searches are dynamic, and can easily evolve over time as your project progresses. What’s more, you can use “search folders” when scoping your queries and visualizations, for even more flexibility. You’ll always have the most up to date information at your fingertips.
Watch this space!
There’s still more new NVivo 9 features to be revealed, so watch our website for further announcements.