Data Collection is an important aspect of any type of research study. Inaccurate data collection can impact the results of a study and ultimately lead to invalid results. Data collection methods for impact evaluation vary along a continuum. At the one end of this continuum are quantatative methods and at the other end of the continuum are Qualitative methods for data collection . Quantitative and Qualitative Data collection methods
The Quantitative data collection methods, rely on random sampling and structured data collection instruments that fit diverse experiences into predetermined response categories. They produce results that are easy to summarize, compare, and generalize. Quantitative research is concerned with testing hypotheses derived from theory and/or being able to estimate the size of a phenomenon of interest. Depending on the research question, participants may be randomly assigned to different treatments. If this is not feasible, the researcher may collect data on participant and situational characteristics in order to statistically control for their influence on the dependent, or outcome, variable. If the intent is to generalize from the research participants to a larger population, the researcher will employ probability sampling to select participants. Typical quantitative data gathering strategies include:
* Experiments/clinical trials.
* Observing and recording well-defined events (e.g., counting the number of patients waiting in emergency at specified times of the day). * Obtaining relevant data from management information systems. * Administering surveys with closed-ended questions (e.g., face-to face and telephone interviews, questionnaires etc). (http://www.achrn.org/quantitative_methods.htm) Interviews
In Quantitative research(survey research),interviews are more structured than in Qualitative research.(http://www.stat.ncsu.edu/info/srms/survpamphlet.html In a structured interview,the...