Analytical data collection refers to a systematic procedure in gathering data. Data collection allows a researcher to acquire primary data for research. The researcher can collect data for a business project, a research paper or a government scheme. Data gathering enables the researchers to support their research problem. Systematic procedure in gathering data strengthens the validity of the data. It helps make accurate assessments of the research problem or hypothesis in the light of data.
Analytical data gathering procedures are necessary to ensure that the data is reliable. If the data is questionable, then its conclusions are also dubious. So, researchers must collect high-quality data through rigorous methods. This article will tell you everything you need to know about the procedure in gathering data.
What Are The Factors To Be Considered In Gathering Your Data In Your Research?
Before choosing the appropriate methods for data collection, you need to consider the following factors:
- Identify the objective of data collection
Data collection without a clear purpose is akin to shooting in the dark. So, the primary thing is to identify your purpose for collecting particular data. You should think about the following things:
- What do I intend to accomplish from the data?
- What approaches and resources will provide me with accurate data?
- You must have a clear research problem and research questions. It will help you in determining the appropriate procedure for gathering data.
Specify the nature and scope of data
After identifying your objectives, you need to narrow down your focus. Narrowing down your focus will help you avoid the pitfall of too much information. You should consider the following things:
- What data do I require?
- What data is currently available for my research problem or topic?
- What kind of data will be beneficial?
- Do I need secondary data as well?
- Or should I only collect primary data?
- You can also choose to collect both primary and secondary data depending upon your research problem.
- Identify Your Resources
The next important thing is to identify the resources at your disposal. Resources encompass the available funds and time constraints. If you have limited funds, you will have to devise less expensive methods to collect data. Secondly, you need to identify how much time you have, and then select a procedure for gathering data accordingly. If you face any issue, then you have an option to buy dissertation online completely.
What are the 5 methods of gathering data?
Here are the five methods for gathering data:
Observation is the most common procedure in gathering data. Researchers observe the subjects in everyday life situations. They observe the behaviours and actions of a group of people according to a set of research questions or theoretical frameworks. Researchers evaluate the outward behaviour of people in real-life situations. There are two types of observations:
2. Direct Observation
Direct observation pertains to observing a group of people in their natural settings with their consent. The participants know that somebody is observing them as they perform their everyday tasks. Some critics argue that participants might mould their behaviours and actions when they know that someone is observing them. It leads to biasness in measuring the data since the researcher will not understand people’s outward behaviour objectively.
- Indirect Observation
Indirect observation pertains to observing a group of people in their everyday situation without their knowledge. In this scenario, the researcher tries to understand a group’s thinking patterns and behaviour by being a silent observer. In contrast to a direct observation, an indirect observation is relatively an objective procedure in gathering data. But, some critics argue that it causes ethical problems since consent is important.
An interview is a one-on-one interaction between two people with the express intention of gathering pertinent data for a research project. Following are the three different types of interviews:
- Structured Interviews
A structured interview is one the in which the researcher has a list of questions prepared in advance. The researcher asks the questions in a consistent order. Such questions are usually close ended questions.
- Semi-Structured Interviews
Semi-structured interviews consist of a sequence of open-ended questions depending on the areas of a research issue. The open-ended character of the inquiry allows both the researcher and the interviewee to delve deeper into some of the themes.
- Unstructured Interviews
Unstructured interviews are devoid of any form of structure. The researcher frames subsequent questions based on the interviewee’s prior response. The researcher approaches the interview with the goal of exploring a restricted number of topics, possibly as few as one or two. It is an in-depth procedure in gathering data.
Questionnaires are an efficient and straightforward method of acquiring information. Researchers can gather data about large groups of people. They usually send the hard copy of the questionnaire to the individuals via courier. Alternatively, the digital age has eased the process of gathering as many responses as possible through online Google surveys. It is important to remember that a consent form is necessary while gathering data through surveys.
- Focus Group Discussions
Focus group discussion is another method for collecting data from a group of people. The group usually comprises of six to ten people. The researcher moderates the discussion among the group members as per the research problem.
Experimentation is a common practice in natural sciences. Researchers also utilise this method in social sciences that require quantitative data. The researcher builds a hypothesis that denotes a link between two or more variables. After that, the researcher conducts experiments that either confirm or refute the hypothesis.
What is the most important thing in gathering data?
The most important thing in gathering data is considering multiple sources and collecting as much information as possible. One source of data cannot generate deeper insights into a research problem. It is critical to look at a variety of sources when gathering information. If you rely on only a few sources, you might not be able to develop strong conclusions. A few sources cannot possibly have all the answers to your inquiries. But if you consider other alternatives, you may come across new or interesting information.
Researchers need to choose the most appropriate procedure in gathering data. The reliability of findings is directly proportional to the accuracy of the data. So, it is essential to adopt a systematic approach while collecting data.
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