Experts across industries use research to make informed decisions. To conduct objective research, you must apply the best methods in data collection. Data collection is an integral aspect of any research and must be done in an appropriate manner. Data can be classified into two main categories. These include primary and secondary data. Primary data encompasses data collected by a researcher without dependence on any pre-researched data. This type of data is original. In this category, we have interviews and questionnaires as the main data collection methods/tools. Secondary data involves already collected data and can be used by someone else. This data is pre-existing and can be accessed by researchers. It is mainly used to monitor changes over time. Examples of secondary data include company surveys and government census. This article highlights and explains various types of data we have and various methods of collecting them.
Kinds of Data
The two main types of data include qualitative and quantitative data.
• Qualitative Data-This is data which is descriptive and does not rely on figures. It is used when you want to gain a deep understanding as regards why respondents behave in a certain manner as regards the use of a specific brand and social situation.
• Quantitative Data-This is numerical data and applies various statistics. This data is predictive in nature.
Data Collection Techniques
• Internet Data-The internet has a big amount of data that can be used for various research purposes.
• Observational methods-this entails collecting data using observational techniques. The researcher visits the research site and notes down what they observe.
• Personal interviews-the researcher gets a deeper understanding of the research problem through personal interviews.
• Group discussions-The researcher writes down about what the people in a group think about a certain research problem or question.
• Questionnaires- Used mainly when collecting data from a specific class.
• Use of experiments-They are used when the researcher wants to gain a deep understanding of the subject matter of research.
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