Data are materials or information gathered during the process of making inquiry about problems. “Data of whatever form do not just appear or lie around waiting to be causally picked up by some passing researcher but have to be given form and shape in other to quantify as data; made relevant in a word to a research problem” (Ackryod and Hughes, 1992). In other words, data are systematically collected groups of information that represent either qualitative or quantitative results. “From the point of view of social research, the world only exist as data and data can exist only through the interpretations placed on materials gathered from the world”(Williams and May,1996).
This essay question will be looking at factors that should be considered to define data of a study. Looking at two empirical researches based on injecting drug users
Study 1 looked at a community based cross-sectional survey among out of treatment male opiate injecting drug users (IDU) between ages 15 to 45. Data on nonfatal overdose were collected using a semi-structured questionnaire from 299 IDU from two district of Bac Ninh in North Vietnam in 2003.
Study 2 examines the range of HCV services that treatment programs provide to their HCV positive clients using data collected from 233 drug free and methadone maintenance treatment programs (MMTPS) throughout the united state. Although findings indicated that MMTPS offer more HCV services to more of their HCV positive clients than drug free programs, but drug free programs provided more individualized services.
Researchers are people that make inquiry into things that are obscure to human and tend to find possible solutions to this problem. They must put some factors into consideration to determine the type of data to be collected such as: aims and objectives of the research, research design, sampling strategies, methods research...