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Best Data Coding Scheme

Figuring out a coding scheme that works takes time, and most people start far too late. They put their statistical data analysis or research assignments off in the hopes that they’ll come up with something later, or hope that they might make heads or tails out of something that’s confusing them. Create a codebook early on and develop a quality strategy from the start. That might seem like a lot to ask, but it will actually save a ton of time in the long run.

statistical data analysis schema

Data Coding Scheme Management

There are three primary data coding scheme tactics that work for most people. Putting these into play from the get go will make things work faster later on. The top three strategies are:

  • Create the Codebook

A codebook is essentially a table with three individual columns that’s created inside of a memo in the NVivo software. This memo will need to be updated regularly, and referred to even more than it gets updates. At first populate it with the code name, a definition and an example. The definition can come from the literature in question, or alternatively it can be of your own invention. The example would be from the data using this code in an application.

This helps a ton because you’ll always know what exactly is meant by each code, and so will a supervisor. This is really important for those working on postgrad and postdoc projects.

  • Document every chance to the codebook

Anyone using apriori codes, whether they’re theoretically based or come from a domain, will find this task to be really straightforward and they’ll get into the habit of doing it all the time. Those who are doing a thematic analysis with codes that aren’t really well defined then their codebook will change and require more extensive updates. It might get messy, but eventually it will clear up.

  • Run an intercoder reliability check

The most important part of this coding scheme is to run an intercoder reliability check. After the codebook is put together, take a copy of the NVivo project and code the interview. After it’s all coded, use NVivo to run a check and make sure that everything is right. This is an especially important step for teams who are all doing their coding with individual initialed copies.

  • Reviewing the Strategy

coding scheme

Individuals working with any other type of data coding scheme can still benefit from using this kind of codebook and code analysis tools. Once in a while a person who is using something like SPSS won’t have access to the memo function. That’s fine, because they can always use the most simple text editor to make up for the lack. As long as notes are being take it shouldn’t matter how they’re taken; NVivo just makes it particularly easy to run a check and ensure that each code is being used the right way.

Get help with your coding scheme today!