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!