Data is the new commodity and currency. Data collection is the process of gathering information with the aim of evaluating outcomes or gleaning actionable insights. Good data collection requires a clear process to ensure the data you collect is clean, consistent, and reliable.
Here are the top six ways of Data Collection:
Interviews and focus groups are the most common methods of data collection. Interviews can be used to explore the views, experiences, beliefs, and motivations of individual respondents.
Questionnaires and Surveys
A questionnaire is a research instrument consisting of a series of questions (or other types of prompts) for the purpose of gathering information from respondents. The questionnaire was invented by the Statistical Society of London in 1838. Questionnaires are a good way of collecting primary data.
Observation is a way of gathering data by watching behavior, events, or noting physical characteristics
in their natural setting. Observations can be overt (everyone knows they are being observed) or covert (no one knows they are being observed and the observer is concealed). The benefit of covert observation is that people are more likely to behave naturally if they do not know they are being observed. However, we need to conduct overt observations because of research ethics.
Observations can also be either direct or indirect. Direct observation is when you watch interactions, processes, or behaviors as they occur; for example, observing a game. Indirect observations are when we watch the results of interactions, processes, or behaviors; for example, measuring the amount of plate waste left by students in a school cafeteria to determine whether a new food is
acceptable to them.
Documents and records
Consists of examining existing data: databases, meeting minutes, reports, attendance logs, financial records, newsletters, etc. This can be an inexpensive way to gather information but may be an incomplete data source.
A focus group is a group interview of approximately six to twelve people who share similar characteristics or common interests. A facilitator guides the group based on a predetermined set of topics. The facilitator creates an environment that encourages participants to share perceptions and points of view. Focus groups are a qualitative data collection method, meaning that the data is descriptive and cannot be measured numerically
Ethnographies, Oral History, and Case Studies
Involves studying a single phenomenon. Examines people in their natural settings. Uses a combination of techniques such as observation, interviews, and surveys. It is a more holistic approach to evaluation.
Our Class Discussion
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