Data Collection Methods

In an era where “information is power,” gathering information is of major concerns. But question arises which many data collection methods is the best for your particular needs? As, raw information doesn’t always have to be particularly useful. Without proper context and structure, it’s just a set of random facts and figures. If you, however, organize, structure, and analyze that data, you’ve got yourself a powerful “fuel” for your decision-making.

Data can be categorized into Quantitative and Qualitative data.

Quantitative Data

This type of data deals with things that are measurable and can be expressed in numbers or figures, or using other values that express quantity. Quantitative research is most likely to provide answers to questions such as who? when? where? what? and how many?

Quantitative survey questions are mostly closed-ended and created in accordance with the research goals, thus making the answers easily transformable into numbers, charts, graphs, and tables. The data obtained via quantitative data collection methods can be used to test existing ideas, learn about your customers, measure general trends etc.

The data obtained is mostly comprehended as more objective and reliable than qualitative due to mathematical calculations. Some of the most common quantitative data collection techniques include surveys and questionnaires (with closed-ended questions). This data collection method is usually cheaper and it takes less time to gather data [1].

Qualitative Data

This data is descriptive in nature rather than numerical. Qualitative data is usually not easily measurable as quantitative and can be gained through observation or open-ended survey or interview questions. Mostly answered question in this type are “why?” and “how?”

This collection methods are most likely to consist of open-ended questions and descriptive answers. Qualitative data is an excellent way to gain insight into your audience’s thoughts and behavior. Data obtained using these methods can be used to find new ideas, opportunities, and problems in more detail. These methods are mostly concerned with words, sounds, thoughts and feelings. It allows a greater depth of understanding.

Some of the most common qualitative data collection techniques include open-ended surveys and questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, observation, case studies [1].



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