Managing demographic data

Your participants share common characteristics (e.g., gender, age, etc.) that you can group together to aid your analysis. In NVivo, Case Classifications are used to define these groups and their attributes.

Incorporating demographic data involves the following steps:

  1. Create or edit a Case Classification (e.g. People).
  2. Set up attributes and values.
  3. Create Cases for each participant and code each participants’ data file (e.g., interview transcript) to the respective case; link the case nodes to the classification
  4. Open the classification and specify attribute values for each participant.

Create classifications and cases

Step 1: Create or edit a Case Classification

Classifications can be created by editing a pre-defined classification, importing a classification sheet or by building your own classification in NVivo.

To edit a pre-defined Case classification:

  1. From the Create tab, click Case Classification.

  2. In the New Classification dialog box, select Add one or more predefined classifications to the project, tick the Person checkbox and click OK.

Step 2: Set up attributes and values

Open the pre-defined classification by clicking on the + sign. The attributes (Name, Sex, Age Group, etc) can be edited/deleted and additional attributes can be added if required in your project.

To edit an attribute and set values from a pre-defined classification:

  1. Right click on the attribute (e.g., Sex)

  2. Select Attribute Properties and make the desired changes (e.g., change the name of the attribute to Gender)

  3. On the Values tab, click Add

  4. Enter the name of a value (e.g., Male)

  5. Click Add to enter the name of another value (e.g., Female)

  6. Define the default attribute value (optional) that is set when participants’ are linked to the attribute (useful time-saver if many participants in the study share the same value (e.g., more females than males)

  7. Click OK

To delete an attribute:

  1. Right click on the attribute (e.g., Country of Birth)

  2. Select Delete and Click Yes to confirm deletion

Step 3: Create cases for each participant, code each participant’s data to the case, link the cases to the classification

In this step, the classification is linked to the case of each participant so that all attributes in the classification are available for the participant.

Classifications must be linked to the case node that represents the participant, not to the data file (e.g. the participant’s interview transcript)

To create cases for each participant:

  1. Select all the data files that represent your study participants.

  2. Right Click, then select Create as, Create as Cases. Creating cases from the files in this way codes the file to the case. (If you create case nodes from the ribbon (Create > Case) or by right clicking into List View, you will need to create each case individually and manually code the file to the case).

  3. In the Select Location dialog box, set the location to store your case nodes (e.g., the Cases folder)

  4. In the Assign to Classification drop down menu, select your classification (e.g., People).

Step 4: Specify values for each participant

  1. Select the classification, right click, then select Open Classification Sheet.

  2. A spreadsheet will open in Detail View and you will see the names of your cases.

  3. For each case set specific values for each attribute by clicking on the inverted triangle and selecting the appropriate value.