Methods of Data Collection

Data collection method is the process of gathering and measuring information on various  interesting things, in an established systematic fashion that enables one to answer queries, stated research questions, test hypotheses, and evaluate outcomes.

Primary Data Collection

Primary data collection can be divided into 2 types 1. Quantitative 2.Qualitative.

  1. Quantitative Data Collection Methods: These are based in mathematical calculations in various formats. Methods of quantitative data collection and analysis include questionnaires with closed-ended questions, methods of correlation and regression, mean, mode and median and others. Quantitative methods are cheaper to apply and they can be applied within shorter duration of time compared to qualitative methods. Moreover, due to a high level of standardization of quantitative methods, it is easy to make comparisons of findings.
  2. Qualitative Research Methods: Qualitative research is closely associated with words, sounds, feeling, emotions, colors and other elements that are non-quantifiable. It is aims to ensure greater level of depth of understanding and qualitative data collection methods include interviews, questionnaires with open-ended questions, focus groups, observation, game or role-playing, case studies etc.

Data Collection Methods

Secondary Data Collection

Secondary data is a type of data that has already been published as books, newspapers, magazines, journals, online portals etc.  There is an abundance of data available in these sources about your research area in business studies, almost regardless of the nature of the research area. Therefore, application of appropriate set of criteria to select secondary data to be used in the study plays an important role in terms of increasing the levels of research validity and reliability.

These criteria include, but not limited to date of publication, credential of the author, reliability of the source, quality of discussions, depth of analyses, the extent of contribution of the text to the development of the research area etc.

Some Other Methods

1. Observation: Observation is the process in which one or more persons observe what is occurring in some real life situation and they classify and record pertinent happenings according to some planned schemes. It is used to evaluate the overt behavior of individuals in controlled or uncontrolled situation. It is a method of research which deals with the external behavior of persons in appropriate situations.

According to P.V. Young__”Observation is a systematic and deliberate study through eye, of spontaneous occurrences at the time they occur. The purpose of observation is to perceive the nature and extent of significant interrelated elements within complex social phenomena, culture patterns or human conduct”.

2. Interview: Interview is relatively more flexible tool than any written inquiry form and permits explanation, adjustment and variation according to the situation. The observational methods, as we know, are restricted mostly to non-verbal acts. So these are understandably not so effective in giving information about person’s past and private behaviour, future actions, attitudes, perceptions, faiths, beliefs thought processes, motivations etc.

3. Questionnaire:  According to Goode and Hatt__”It is a device for securing answers to questions by using a form which the respondent fills in himself.  According to GA. Lundberg “Fundamentally the questionnaire is a set of stimuli to which illiterate people are exposed in order to observe their verbal behaviour under these stimuli”.