The primary need for data collection is to capture worthy evidence that seeks to answer all the questions that have been proposed. Not only for academic purposes but business and management can also opt for data collection methods to deduce high-quality information that is a criterion for making knowledgeable decisions. To guarantee the quality of information, it is vital to collect valuable and authentic data to deduce inferences and make informed decisions on what is considered factual.
If you get along with this article until the end, you will know the importance of selecting appropriate data collection methods as per your research or queries.
WHAT IS DATA COLLECTION
Data collection is a systematic process of assembling and evaluating specific information to extend solutions to related questions and assess the results. Its emphasis is on finding out everything accessible related to that specific study. Data is composed to be further exposed to hypothesis testing, which seeks to describe a phenomenon. Hypothesis testing eradicates assumptions while proposing testing the foundation of reason.
For collectors of data, there is a variety of outcomes for which the data is generally collected. But the key purpose is to enable the researcher to make the precise decision or assumptions for future probabilities and trends.
TYPES OF DATA COLLECTION
Data collection is always the most time-consuming and exhausting part of completing the research (dissertationwritinghelp, 2021). Before proposing the subject of the various types of data collection, it is noteworthy that data collection itself falls into two major categories – primary data collection and secondary data collection.
o PRIMARY DATA COLLECTION
Primary data collection is to gather raw data at the source. It is the process of collecting original data for research purposes. It further falls into two segments named qualitative research method and quantitative research method. As primary data collection is of more effort, opting for a research proposal writing service can be a good step to gather quality data.
QUALITATIVE RESEARCH METHOD
The qualitative research methods do not include a collection of numerical data that needs to be calculated through mathematical expressions. But it is based on non-quantifying elements like the details and reasons behind the hypothesis. The most common example of this could interview someone to get feedback on services.
QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH METHOD
Quantitative methods include the collection of numerical values that needs the mathematical calculation to deduce the results. The most basic example would be giving a multiple-choice question that is a close-ended discussion. This subsequently arrives at figures to be calculated mathematically—also, methods of correlation and regression, mode, mean, and median.
o SECONDARY DATA COLLECTION
It is referred to the gathering of second-hand data by an individual that is not the immediate user. But the data is collected through already published journals, articles, or books. Secondary data collection is much easier and less expensive.
The choice between primary or secondary data collection depends upon the purpose, level, nature, scope, and area of your research.
MOST EFFECTIVE WAYS OF COLLECTING DATA FOR RESEARCH INTERVIEW
if you ask anyone who does not know much about data collection, the most common answer you would get is probably ‘interview.’ Though anyone can come up with hundreds of questions for interviews. Bu the key task is to know what to ask. Efficiency in interviewing is crucial, due to which interviewing in person can sometimes be really expensive.
There are ways to limit the cost of interviews, such as conducting it on hone call r video call. Interviews also allow you to conduct open-ended questions as compared to other primary data collection methods.
Questionnaires and surveys can be used to take close-ended questions. You can either use web-bases, email, postal questionnaires. A minus point on these questionnaires is response rates are generally lower than interviewing because people find it easier to talk to someone directly (Phellas, C. N., Bloch, A., & Seale, C., 2011). But data gathered from questionnaires and surveys can be analyzed in many different ways. You can also assign numerical values to the surveys to speed up the surveys.
Though online forms are a modern way of conducting surveys, unlike written surveys, which are static, the questions presented in online forms can change according to how someone responds due to the conditional logic form feature.
Observation refers to collecting information without asking questions. This method is more particular as it enables the researcher or observer to add their verdict to the data, though in some cases, the risk of partiality is minimal. In general, observation can determine the dynamics of a situation, which usually cannot be measured through other data collection techniques. However, it can be combined with an additional way of information such as video.
o DOCUMENTS AND RECORDS
Data collection through documents and records can be done by asking anyone anything. It refers to already existing data for the research. Financial records, meeting hours, or attendance of employees can be common examples of data collection through documents and records.
This way can be very efficient and cost-effective because you are already using research that is already completed. This method is also utilized by Ph.D. Dissertation writing services from the experts. However, the results are not controlled by the researchers because documents and records can be incomplete data sources.
o FOCUS GROUPS
Focus groups are data collection methods that involve individuals who have something in common. The main purpose of this type of data collection is to add that collective element into individual data collection.
Focus groups are often like an open-ended question when asking them about a particular topic. The focus group mediator can enquire the group to ponder back to the shared knowledge rather than forward to the future.
Focus groups discussions can also include the example of the activity of showing a video to a group of people and then discussing the content with them and collecting their answers.
Understanding the variety of data collection is necessary. It will help you to decide which is better for your research and according to your budget. When combined together, these data collections can give an authentic picture and insights into your subject area.
Phellas, C. N., Bloch, A., & Seale, C. (2011). Structured methods: interviews, questionnaires and observation. Researching society and culture, 3(1), 23-32.
DWH., (2022). Best Research data Collection Tools. Online Available at <https://dissertationwritinghelp.uk/best-research-data-collection-tools/> [Accessed on 10th February 2022]