Tuesday, 1 September 2015

EXPERIENCE: Adding to my Toolbox - NVivo

I'm always excited to head along to courses to learn new skills.  Fortunately, both working in the public sector and working on a PhD has given me the opportunity to spend time developing a range of skills.  In particular, whilst at UWA, I have particularly enjoyed developing teaching skills through the Postgraduate Teaching Internship Scheme and becoming a nationally accredited mediator after completing the Alternative Dispute Resolution for Professionals course.

Today I had the opportunity to add a string to my bow by learning to use NVivo, a qualitative data analysis tool.  NVivo helps you organise, search and process data and will be an invaluable tool as I trawl through literally thousands upon thousands of words of interviews.

I have become quite familiar with NVivo through reading other papers, with NVivo often mentioned in Methods sections.  What struck me, however, was that NVivo is not a methodology per se.  It can make the job of analysing data easier, but it does not perform any analysis of its own.  I think this is an important note to make, because too often NVivo is referred to as a quasi-methodology of its own.  But it seems the hard (and important!) work is still up to me!