Exporting full dataset with associated coding

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    Anna Gasperini

    Hi, my team and I were wondering if there is a way to export the full dataset, with the metadata of the texts and their associated coding, in an interoperable format (CSV, XML, or even Excel). Would that be possible? We have tried a couple of things now but hey did not work. Thanks!



    Hi Anna,

    First, I would need you to define what you mean by a ‘dataset’. That could mean an Excel file imported into NVivo and autocoded to cases and classifications and open-ended text as codes (columns in Excel), or it could mean files comprising primary and secondary data, or it could mean code structures and/or coded content with all references coded. So, we will need detailed information on what you are trying to achieve and what you define as interoperable, because interoperable in computer terms means the exchanging of data (exporting and importing to and from one application to other) and whereas you can exchange data quite seamlessly between Excel and NVivo, their data structures are completely different, so Excel will operate as NVivo or vice versa because one is a relational database and the other is a spreadsheet. Whereas we may be able to help with moving data between the two, you cannot convert apples to oranges by just moving them about. If I understand what you mean by interoperability, to get your relational database into a spreadsheet that operates like Excel will likely require a lot of manipulation of files, codes and classification all into a single Excel table and even then, your text in your codes will no longer be connected to the original source files via DDE links and those files will not be connected to their cases which in turn will not be connected to metadata in your classification table. 

    I understand that sometimes people gravitate towards the app they are familiar with, but I would recommend you use a spreadsheet for number crunching and a relational database for analysing qualitative data. Using either for the other’s purpose means you are using the wrong tool for the job. If you let me know the details of what you are trying to do and what precisely you need to end up with in Excel, I am happy to make any suggestions I can to lead you towards that goal. I hope this response is helpful, but do let me know if you have any questions or concerns.

    Ben Meehan

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