Data collection is a process of extracting data from different resources in order to find observations and useful patterns from it. After successfully defining the problem statement, a researcher starts thinking about how, when, and from where he will collect data. Data is the backbone of all research. Therefore, it should be authentic and related to the research.
You can take three questions into consideration while collecting data.
- What type of methods and procedures are you going to use on your data?
- Basic aims of your data.
- What type of data does your research need?
Modern researches need millions and trillions of data. Moreover, if researchers want to design research systems more accurately, they have to collect more data because more relevant data increase the authenticity of the research. Therefore for collecting a large amount of data, researchers should design a complete strategy of data collection.
How to choose a perfect data collection procedure:
For selecting a perfect data collection procedure, you need to ensure the procedure will get you desired results. Therefore, you can perform a pilot study to select a good data collection procedure. For a pilot study, you just need to collect data using different procedures and check which data suits your research objectives.
Planning data collection procedure:
How a researcher can plan a perfect procedure of data collection?
Let’s see the different procedure of data collection:
There are many data collection procedures, including surveys, conducting interviews or collecting data from websites. In most of the research related to artificial intelligence or any computer science research, researchers have to collect data from websites by using different scraping methods. Most of the time, researchers have to collect data from malls if they are designing shop management systems. So it depends upon the particular research on how to collect data for it.
Here I am defining some general procedures of data collection.
Data collection using surveys:
Data collection using a survey is very old. You can collect data directly from people using surveys. Surveys help in collecting both quantitative as well as qualitative data. While conducting a survey, you need to design a questionnaire. This questionnaire will include all the relevant questions related to your field. You can conduct surveys online as well as offline. So, the easiest way of conducting a survey is using some website. Many websites online provide facilities for conducting online surveys. After designing the survey, you can share it on WhatsApp, Facebook, or any other online platform. You can also share the survey with your friends to collect authentic data.
Surveys can be conducted in two ways
- Online surveys
As we stated earlier, online surveys are conducted using websites that allow their users to design online surveys.
- Paper surveys
On the other hand, paper surveys are designed using paper and pen.
For both surveys, researchers must spend time deciding what type of data they need for their research. Based on this data, researchers design questions to add to the survey. There are some of the best dissertation writing services that can help in data collection through surveys.
Interviews are more like conducting surveys. Conducting interviews is a very famous procure of data collection. While conducting interviews, a researcher interacts with the humans face to face. Therefore,for conducting interviews, a researcher needs a proper questionnaire. Like surveys, interviews can be conducted online. Nowadays, researchers can use any online video platform for conducting interviews.
While collecting data using observations, a researcher tries to understand the natural state of things. It’s a way in which the researcher observes events or notices the physical state of people. Data collected through observations are more authentic than through interviews or surveys. The reason behind this is that while conducting a survey, people can write wrong information. But if researchers collect data by observation, it will probably be correct.
Ethnography is a procedure of data collection that encourage the researchers to study the culture, behaviour, and habits of people of a region. While collecting data through ethnography, sometimes researchers start living in the communities of people he wants to collect data about.
Archival research is a procedure of data collection where researchers try to find historical facts. Researchers use this procedure to determine how a particular historical event impacts people’s lives. For example, to know how world war II impacted human life, researchers will conduct archival research. They will read newspapers, journals, and books written at that time. This data can also be collected from visual artefacts and verbal documents.
Secondary data collection:
Secondary data collection is a procedure that does not start collecting data from the start. Researchers try to find existing datasets from different agencies. In secondary data collection, data is collected from government and private institutes. For example, if some researcher wants to conduct research on people of a specific area and he needs data like CNIC, name, and contact number. He can contact near NADRA services of that region.
Moreover, if some researchers need data from different schools, they will directly contact these schools for data collection.
Data collection using experiments:
To achieve the aims of a research problem, scientists perform experiments. Experiments are a great source of data collection. Scientists define what experiments they need to collect data for particular research work. They conduct these experiments many times to collect the relevant data. There are some steps involved in data collection using experiments which are:
- Define the problem
- Determine how to conduct the experiment
- Conduct the experiment
- Collect the results.
To conduct research successfully, scientists need data. This data should be relevant to the research objectives and must be authentic enough to conduct the research. There are different procedures of data collection which scientists use to collect data. These procedures must be used for data collection depending upon the data demand of the particular research.
Data can be collected through surveys, online or offline interviews and experiments. Data can also be collected using the archival research method, secondary research collection or ethnography. This article has many methods which we can use to collect data. Read them entirely to grab the best information.