Data Visualisation References and Links

There are lots of resources on data visualisation, but many are concerned with big data for quantitative projects. The following references are offered to take you to issues discussed in this section, and lead you to further reading.

On visualisation and qualitative research

How to communicate qualitative data with visualisation
This article discusses how researchers and audiences engage with data visualisations and how that impacts qualitative research communication.

Allen, W.L. (2018) ‘Visual brokerage: Communicating data and research through visualisation.’ Public Understanding of Science, 27: 8, 906-922.

Defining data visualization in evaluation
This article explores the historical development of data visualisation and offers examples of how data visualization has been used in evaluations to help aid understanding, collect data and information, conduct analysis, and communicate to a variety of stakeholders.

Azzam, T., Evergreen, S., Germuth, A. A., & Kistler, S. J. (2013). ‘Data visualization and evaluation.’ New Directions for Evaluation, 2013(139), 7-32.

Using data visualizations in grounded theory
This article outlines the ways in which diagrams and drawings were used differently by researchers at various stages to support the research process and ongoing analysis of data in a grounded theory study.

Buckley C.A. & Waring M. J. (2013) ‘Using diagrams to support the research process: examples from grounded theory.’ Qualitative Research, 13:2, 148-172.

Choosing the right chart for your data
For more detailed support on doing your own visualizations, this how-to guide offers a set of blueprints for conveying data in an impactful way

Evergreen, S. Effective Data Visualization: The Right Chart for the Right Data. Second Edition. London: SAGE.

The founding Grounded Theory text
This is where the Grounded Theory method was first proposed and the book remains an essential resource for those using or debating the method.

Glaser, B.G. and Strauss, A.L. (1967) The Discovery of Grounded Theory: Strategies for Qualitative Research. Chicago, IL: Aldine.

A review of methods and results of data visualisation
This is a massive review of methods and results of data visualisation by a freelance data visualisation specialist: browse to get a sense of the power of ‘data driven’ display.

Kirk, A. (2019) Data Visualisation: A Handbook for Data Driven Design (2nd edition) London SAGE.

Pictorial Narrative Mapping
Narrative Mapping has many methods; this paper is relevant to the technique as described in the ‘Mapping Caregiving’ project on this site.

Lapum, J., Liu, L., Hume, S. et al. (2015) ‘Pictorial Narrative Mapping as a qualitative analytic technique’. International Journal of Qualitative Methods (IJQM). 14:5.

Pictorial Narrative Mapping
Narrative Mapping has many methods; this paper is relevant to the technique as described in the ‘Mapping Caregiving’ project on this site.

Miles, M. B., & Huberman, A. M. (1994) Qualitative data analysis. Thousand Oaks: SAGE.

Attitudes to presentation of visualisation in qualitative reports
As discussed on these pages, this review of interviews with journal editors explores their attitudes to presentation of visualisation in qualitative reports.

Scagnoli, N. I. & Verdinelli, S. (2017) ‘Editors’ Perspective on the Use of Visual Displays in Qualitative Studies.’ The Qualitative Report, 22(7).

Modes of Grounded Theory Modeling
Modeling is central to Grounded Theory method but modes of modelling are often unclear. The authors promote one method.

Soulliere, D., Britt, D.W. & Maines, D.R. (2011) ‘Conceptual Modeling as a Toolbox For Grounded Theorists.’ The Sociological Quarterly, 42(2): 253-269.

Seminal Grounded Theory text with focus on worked examples
By one of the founders of Grounded Theory, this book follows 20 years after the co-authored first text. Here the emphasis is on worked examples, including use of diagramming.

Strauss, A.L. (1987) Qualitative Analysis for Social Scientists. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Co-founder notes on the establishment of Grounded Theory
A later piece by the cofounder of Grounded Theory spelling out how he saw theory happening.

Strauss, A.L. (1995) ‘Notes on the nature and development of general theories’, Qualitative Inquiry, 1(1): 7–18.

Grounded Theory method toolkit
A ‘cookbook’ for (one version of) the Grounded Theory method – with detail of processes of diagramming.

Strauss, A.L. and Corbin, J. (1998) Basics of Qualitative Research: Grounded Theory Procedures and Techniques (2nd edn). London: SAGE.

Review highlighting the limited use of visualisation in qualitative reports
As discussed on these pages, this review of studies shows the limited use of visualisation in qualitative reports.

Verdinelli, S. & Scagnoli, N.I. (2013) Data Display in Qualitative Research. International Journal of Qualitative Methods 2013(12), 359-381

The SAGE Methodspace blog
The SAGE Methodspace blog features up-to-date articles, extracts, news and other tools and resources, written by authors, researchers and students alike, to help you on your research journey.

The use of charts, tables and diagrams in qualitative data analysis.
This lecture by Graham Gibbs looks at the use of charts and tables both for data elicitation and clarification and to support the analysis of qualitative data. It focuses particularly on how this can support the discovery of patterns in data.

On qualitative data analysis software

CAQDAS: Computer Assisted Qualitative Analysis
Tutorials and information are available at Qualitative Data Analysis Services, an independent consultancy service across all QDAS. This team has recently published books, with Routledge, so far on three programs, and the site offers video tutorials on those programs and blog posts about developments.

Current list of software and links
Go to the CAQDAS site for current lists of software and links to their sites.

Qualitative software visualization tools
All qualitative software provides visualization tools, and for most programs these are not specifically identified as a set.  Go to the website for your program and browse for all the ways it will display your data, and particularly for data driven displays, as discussed above.

You can follow links on visualization for two particular programs:

Resources for particular analysis and visualization software

These texts are all written by and supported by the software developers. So don’t expect criticisms but use them for authoritative advice and particularly for techniques and work-arounds learned in the development and workshopping experience of the authors.

Key contemporary ATLASti guide
This is the current book from the ATLASti trainer and developer with decades of experience.  

Friese, S. (2019) Qualitative Data Analysis with ATLAS.ti Third Edition – London: SAGE.  See especially Chapter 7: Recognizing and visualizing relationships - working with networks. Online resources on data visualization here.

Seminal how-to do Qualitative Data Analysis with NVivo guide
This is a very thorough how-to book with a long history, starting with one authored by Lyn Richards with Pat Bazeley for the first version of NVivo! Warning: Always check that a book on your program is describing the version of the program you have.

Jackson, K. & Bazeley, P. (2019) Qualitative Data Analysis with NVivo Third Edition. London: SAGE.

Contemporary text from MAXQDA founder
From the founder and developer of the MAXQDA software.

Kuckartz, U., Rädiker, S. (2020) Analyzing Qualitative Data with MAXQDA. Text, Audio, and Video: Switzerland: Springer Nature.

Guide to using Dedoose
Two very experienced evaluation researchers and Dedoose workshop trainers team with the developer in this book, emphasizing the use of Dedoose in evaluation studies.

Salmona, M., Lieber, E. and Kaczynski, D. (2019) Qualitative and Mixed Methods Data Analysis Using Dedoose. A Practical Approach for Research Across the Social Sciences. London: SAGE.

Data visualization ideas and examples

How is data visualization used in other areas? Why not in yours? The best advice is to use your web search skills to track examples in different research areas – and go for very different areas to find surprising ideas.  Following are sites that might not seem relevant to your work. But examples from them might help you discover options.

Visualising data in evaluation studies
A detailed account of many sorts of charts and graphs and their uses in evaluation studies

Evergreen, S. (2014). ‘Visualise data. Better Evaluation. 

Discussion of the uses of visualisation in social and health sciences
Lydia Hooper is a consultant with, in her words ‘special expertise in communicating about complex topics and data.’  The site offers wide ranging discussion of uses of visualisation across social and health sciences, with generous resources and examples.

Zendesk: Software developer for visualising data
Zendesk is a software developer for those wanting to display their support, sales, and customer engagement. Not your task? But you might get from here a wider range of ways of visualising data. There’s a free demo to try. 

QRCA: Qualitative Research Consultants Association
‘Are you passionate about Qual?’ asks QRCA. The name stands for Qualitative Research Consultants Association, which claims it ‘is the global community of qualitative professionals that connects, educates and advances qualitative methods, practices and standards around the world on behalf of and with its members’.  A good place to go to find how visualization is developing in market research, to make reports ‘pop’!  

Visualising data in the corporate world
Also from the corporate world, Ann K. Emery ‘equips organizations to get their data out of dusty spreadsheets and into real-world conversations’. It’s a goal many researchers share. This site is aimed at ‘equipping organizations to visualize data more effectively’, but worth exploring for ideas that fit smaller projects. 

‘Big Data’ Visualisation
Seeing Data was a UK based grouping of academic research projects focusing on visualisation of ‘big data’. The reports are old now (2013-17) but still relevant for ‘big data’ research and for their focus on ‘visualisation literacy’ of audiences.    

Andy Kirk: Key data visualization author
Andy Kirk, a freelance data visualisation specialist in the UK, is author of the detailed text, Handbook for Data Driven Design

He maintains resources on his website.