Data Collection Methods.
Data collection is the process of gathering and measuring information on variables of interest, in an established systematic fashion that enables one to answer stated research questions, test hypotheses, and evaluate outcomes. Data Collection Techniques include the following:
Conducting personal interviews is probably the best method of data collection to gain first hand information. It is however, unsuitable in cases where there are many people to be interviewed and questioned. Questionnaires
Questionnaires are good methods of data collection when there is a need for a particular class of people to be questioned. The researcher can prepare a questionnaire according to the data he requires and send it to the responders. Detailed observation
Data can also most effectively be obtained with means of observational skills. The researcher can visit a place and take down details of all that he observes which is actually required for aiding in his research. Here, the researcher has to make sure that what he is observing is real. Group Discussions
Group discussions are good techniques where the researcher has to know what the people in a group think. He can come to a conclusion based on the group discussion which may even involve good debate topics of research. Internet Data
The Internet is an ocean of data, where you can get a substantial amount of information for research. However, researchers need to remember that they should depend on reliable sources on the web for accurate information. Books and Guides
These data collection techniques are the most traditional ones that are still used in today's research. Unlike the Internet, it is sure that you will get good and accurate information from books and published guides. Using Experiments
Sometimes, for obtaining the full understanding of the scenario, researchers have to conduct actual experiments on the field. Research experiments are usually carried out in fields such as science and manufacturing. This is the best method for gaining an in-depth understanding of the subject related to the research.
There are many other methods of data collection which may help the researcher to draw statistical as well as conceptual conclusions. For obtaining accurate and dependable data, researchers are suggested to combine two or more of the above mentioned data collection techniques. http://www.buzzle.com/articles/data-collection-techniques.html
Types of Data
Data types are categorized into two types: Primary data and Secondary data. Primary data
This is data that is collected by the researcher himself. The data is gathered through questionnaires, interviews, observations etc. Secondary data
This is data that is collected, compiled or written by other researchers eg. books, journals, newspapers internet etc. The following steps are used to collect data
Review & compile secondary source information
Plan & design data collection instruments
To gather primary information
Data analysis and interpretation
Siddiqui, S.A. (2012)
Key questionnaire design principles
1. Keep the questionnaire as short as possible.
2. Ask short, simple, and clearly worded questions.
3. Start with demographic questions to help respondents get started comfortably. 4. Use dichotomous (yes|no) and multiple choice questions.
5. Use open-ended questions cautiously.
6. Avoid using leading-questions.
7. Pretest a questionnaire on a small number of people.
8. Think about the way you intend to use the collected data when preparing the questionnaire. Which data collection method should the researcher use?
Because of the biases inherent in any data-collection method, it is sometimes advisable to use more than one method when collecting diagnostic data. The data from the different methods can be compared, and if consistent, it is likely the variables are being validly measured. Statistical inference permits us to...
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