What is Data Collection?
Data collection is one systematic process that plays an important role in the methodology. It is a kind of method which allows you to gather information about the research you are conducting. Data collection in actuality gives a real insight into the problems or knowledge about the particular questions. In the present world, businesses are interlinked with organisations, clients, users, employees and competitors. Similarly, every other topic on which you are working is connected to several aspects and elements. The right data collection method is therefore is equally important for you to restrict yourself from wasting time in focusing on useless directions. In general, there are two main types of data collection, one is primary data collection and the other is secondary data collection which further allows you to use several tools and procedures for collecting data.
Types of Data Collection
The primary data collection is related to the data which is collected through first-hand sources and are not utilized previously. When you are opted to use primary data collection, you are concerning to gather data from sources which are not being used before and are extremely fresh for the relevant topic. The primary data collection method is further be linked with the two different types of data collection methods such as primary qualitative and primary quantitative.
- Secondary Data Collection
Secondary data collection is related to the sources which are being utilized in the other researches as well. In terms of opting the secondary data collection, you will be required to gather the relevant information from the previously available sources such as articles, magazines, reports, journals, the internet, etc. Secondary data collection is mainly be further analysed in only the qualitative researches.
Importance of Data Collection
- Reliability of the Research
With the correct choice of data collection method, your research will become reliable in shape of collecting the reliable data as it allows you to ensure the integrity of the research problem or questions.
You will be minimizing the related errors which could be occur in data collection as an appropriate method of data collection always produce consistent and inter-relatable results.
The reduction of errors and risks through choosing right collection method allows you to make error free decision making with concerned to the accurate data.
Data collection methods determine you a way or path through you can easily gather the required data without wasting any of the time and cost in the other ways and paths.
- To Support a need of a New Idea, Change, and Innovation
For supporting any new innovation, idea or change in the relevant field, data collection in this manner is an important aspect which helps you in supporting the changes or innovation through required evidences.
What is Data Collection Tools?
Data collection methods and tools are the procedure and devices which are used for the collection of data. The tools you choose are based on the data collection types such as primary and secondary. If you go further, tools are selected in accordance to the relevant type or researches whether qualitative or quantitative.
Data Collection Methods for Academic, Opinion or Product Research
When you are required to conduct different types of researches such academic, product or opinion research. Here are the following data collection tools which are generally utilized in this types of researches.
Interviews are generally refers to the face to face meeting between the author and the experts or individual which is requested to share his/her experience on the research topic or related questions. Interviews are included in the primary tools of data collection.
The questionnaire are another tool which you usually use for the primary data collection. It allows you to gather data by developing a questionnaire which includes different questions regarding the research problem and objectives. Questionnaires are distributed to the selected audience who are requested to share their views.
Reporting is a type of tool which gather data in form of tables, charts and visualisations including various records, newspapers and other statistical types of data related to the specific topic, business or organization.
The existing is considered as the secondary data collection tool which is used to gather data from the secondary sources such as journals, articles and surveys
The observation is one of type of primary data collection method in the data is collected through observing any kind of activity or formulation whether concerning a participant as observer or by observing yourself.
Focus group is another type of primary data collection which mainly refers in the qualitative studies. It involves the views and opinions of the participants through open ended questions to various groups.
The combination of research includes the both primary and secondary data collection tools combination for a particular research.
How to Collect Data?
When processing to data collection, it is important for you consider the below steps.
- Clearly Know the Aims of your Research
The aim of the research should be known and clearly be understood including all objectives and research questions.
You are required to identify whether your research is quantitative, if your objective requirements are obtaining through statistical aspects and results it means you should be using quantitative data.
On the other hand, if your aims and objectives are preferring subjective results, it means your are required to collect qualitative data.
In terms of hypothesis research in which you are required to collect data according to the needs of hypothesis. In general hypothesis researches uses quantitative data.
In case if your research is based on mix methods, it will be using both qualitative and quantitative data for processing the analysis.
- Choose your Data Collection Method
Based on the types of researches you are required to decide your data collection method. If your research primary you will choose primary tools for collecting data and in case of secondary research you will be electing an of the secondary data collection tools.
- Make a Plan of Data Collection Procedures
After selecting the right data collection method, you are now be making a plan that how you will conduct surveys or interviews or collect data from secondary sources. Based on planning you will develop the procedure and relevant queries through which you will collect data.
Finally after proper planning you will be ready for the data collection without wasting any further time. Data collection process will be started and the collected data is being organized based on your research requirements and analysis.
Do’s and Don’ts
- Primary and secondary data collection methods should be chosen based on the research requirements.
- The data collection tools should be selected according to the selected data collection methods.
- Data should be collected with only concerning the chose data collection tools.