Qualitative data analysis is a complex process and demands clear thinking on the part of the analyst. However, a number of deficiencies may obstruct the research analyst during the process, leading to inconsistencies occurring. This paper is a reflection on the use of a qualitative data analysis program, NVivo 8, and its usefulness in identifying consistency and inconsistency during the coding process. The author was conducting a large-scale study of providers and users of mental health services in Ireland. He used NVivo 8 to store, code and analyse the data and this paper reflects some of his observations during the study. The demands placed on the analyst in trying to balance the mechanics of working through a qualitative data analysis program, while simultaneously remaining conscious of the value of all sources are highlighted. NVivo 8 as a qualitative data analysis program is a challenging but valuable means for advancing the robustness of qualitative research. Pitfalls can be avoided during analysis by running queries as the analyst progresses from tree node to tree node rather than leaving it to a stage whereby data analysis is well advanced.