Import from Qualtrics

This feature is available in NVivo Pro and Plus editions. Learn more


If you use Qualtrics to collect survey responses, you can import these responses directly into your NVivo project.

You need NVivo 11 (Update 2) to be able to import from Qualtrics. Refer to Software updates for information about upgrading.

What do you want to do?



If you use Qualtrics to collect survey responses, you can import the completed responses directly into your NVivo project. The imported data becomes a dataset source that you can sort, filter or auto code.

You can exclude particular questions from being imported—for example, if they are not relevant to your analysis or if they contain confidential information.

You can also change the question names (column headings). For example, if your survey question is 'How would you describe your involvement in your community?', you could rename it 'Community involvement'.

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Accessing your Qualtrics account from NVivo

  1. On the Data tab, in the Import group, click the arrow below Survey, and then click From Qualtrics.

The Qualtrics Authenticator dialog displays.

  1. Log in to Qualtrics. The way you log in depends on your Qualtrics account.

Logging in as an individual

If you have a personal Qualtrics account, or if your university or organization has set-up this configuration, you can log in with your email and password.

If you're not sure what type of account you have, try this method first. If you receive an error message, try logging in with an API Token.

Logging in from a university or organization

If you usually access Qualtrics via a university or organization portal, you will probably need to use this method.

This method involves going to the Qualtrics website and logging in to find the API Token for your account. Refer to Finding your Qualtrics API Token for more information.

The token is a unique string of characters which you copy and paste into the Qualtrics Authenticator dialog box. The token identifies your Qualtrics account and allows NVivo to access your surveys.


  • You need to be connected to the internet to authenticate your Qualtrics account.

  • Not all Qualtrics accounts allow NVivo permission to access surveys.

  • If you close NVivo, you will need to enter the username and password (or API Token) again next time you import from Qualtrics. NVivo does not store your Qualtrics credentials anywhere in your project or on your computer.

  • If you cannot log in to your Qualtrics account from NVivo, you can export your Qualtrics survey in CSV format then import into NVivo as a spreadsheet or text file. Note that this method is not as rich in functionality—you won't be able to merge additional responses on the same survey, and you should carefully review each question to ensure that NVivo is correctly recognizing closed and open-ended question types.

Import survey responses from Qualtrics

  1. Access your Qualtrics account from NVivo.

  2. Follow the instructions in the Import from Qualtrics Wizard. For more information about using the Wizard, refer to the following table:

Wizard step Description


Understand the outcomes of the survey import.

NVivo will import your survey as a dataset, and create cases, nodes and attributes in your project.

Select a survey

Review the list of surveys and select the survey that you want to import responses from.

Manage your survey respondents


  1. Specify a location to store the cases resulting from the survey import.

  2. Select a question from your survey to uniquely identify your survey respondents, for example a name or ID.

  3. Specify a classification for the cases that will be created for your survey respondents.

Identify open-ended and closed-ended questions


A preview of the first response in your survey is presented in a grid.

On this screen you choose which questions elicited open-ended responses that you want to code (codable fields) and which questions formed closed-ended responses that describe your respondents (classifying fields). The wizard attempts to automatically determine closed and open-ended question types.

  1. Press the arrow buttons to preview responses from the first 25 respondents in the survey.

  2. Select the Closed Ended, Open Ended or Don't Import option to specify the questions you want to import and identify their question type.

An open-ended question is generally a free response that you want to analyze for themes or ideas that arise. Close-ended questions are useful to describe respondents and ask questions of your open-ended questions.

NOTE: You can change the question name—for example, to make it shorter or more meaningful. Click on the question and edit it. Press ENTER or TAB to save your changes.

Auto code themes and sentiment

(NVivo Plus only)

NVivo Plus users can choose to automatically detect and code themes and sentiment in their open-ended survey responses.

  1. Click Close when the Wizard is finished. A dataset source is created.

If you coded for themes and sentiment, NVivo presents the results visually in a results matrix and hierarchy chart. (NVivo Plus only)


  • If you receive a message indicating that the login webpage cannot be displayed, check your Internet connection.

  • It can take some time to import and process surveys. This depends on the number of questions, the number of responses, and the amount of text in the responses. The larger your survey, the longer it will take to import.

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Importing multiple times from the same survey

You can import responses from the same survey multiple times. When you do this, you can choose to merge into an existing dataset or create a new dataset.

Merge into an existing dataset

  1. Select the survey you want to re-import and tick the Merge into previously imported dataset check box at the bottom of step 2 of the Wizard.

  2. Select which dataset to import the new responses into.

When you merge responses into an existing survey, the Wizard settings that you chose when you first imported the survey cannot be changed. If you chose not to import questions when you originally imported the survey, when you merge, those questions cannot be imported.

Responses that have changed in Qualtrics after you originally imported them are not updated in the dataset that you merge into.

Create a new dataset

  • Select the survey you want to re-import. Follow the instructions in the Wizard.

If a dataset with the same name already exists, the new dataset is renamed—for example, Customer Feedback Survey would be named Customer Feedback Survey (2).

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Understand how responses are imported as datasets

Your survey results are imported into NVivo as a dataset. The Wizard will create cases, nodes and attributes in your project.

Your survey respondents will be stored as cases. Cases are named based on their unique identifier. The responses for each respondent are coded entirely to their case node.

Close-ended questions (like multiple choice or Likert scale questions) are created as case attributes. These describe a case and are useful to ask questions of your data in queries and charts.

Open-ended questions (like free text questions) are created and coded to nodes. All responses to a question are grouped together in a single node, so that you can explore themes and patterns.

For ideas on analyzing survey results in NVivo, refer to Approaches to analyzing survey results.

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