Nowadays, entrepreneurs and companies are linked directly to their customers, users, staff, providers and sometimes their rivals. Data can let them know about their current relationships and thanks to this kind of information, companies can enhance the quality of their operation.
In spite of the fact that data is a valuable source, too much of it can be unnecessary and the wrong data is unused. This is why we should adopt a right data collection method in order to manage data better. Fortunately, today a lot of vendors have provided different kinds of tools used to collect data easier. The methods are different, both conventional and modern, both simple and complicated. The top six data collection methods include interviews, questionnaires and surveys, observations, documents, focus groups, and oral histories.
Quantitative methods mean dealing with something that can be counted. On the other hand, qualitative means considering other factors instead of figures. In general, questionnaires, surveys and documents as well as records are quantitative while the remained methods are qualitative. Let’s get to know what they are.
Qualitative data collection method
Data analysis can come in a wide variety of formats. The method you opt may rely on the subject matter of your research. Such quantitative methods as surveys will provide you with the answer to the question ‘How much?’ while do not give the answer to the question ‘Why?’. This is why we need qualitative data collection solutions.
Learning what is qualitative data collection
In general, qualitative data collection will take some factors into consideration in order to provide a deep insight of the raw data. While qualitative methods include tasks of collecting, analyzing and managing data instead of counting the answers or dealing with figures, this method will evaluate such factors as the thoughts and the feelings of respondents.
Thanks to this, researchers will be able to describe the environment. Learning from which the observations come can make sense for recorded numbers. Secondly, they can determine the people who get engaged in the study. If the research is restricted only to a certain group of people, this information can release the results. What’s more, they will be capable of describing the content of the study. Occasionally, the certain tasks included in the research and how messages about the study were sent and received may reflect the facts of that study. Researchers also can communicate with the respondents. Interacts between them can offer even more precious information regarding the results. Last but not least, they can be conscious of the factors from outside. Qualitative data collection methods will let researchers identify these circumstances and use them for results narrative, which may not be done with a quantitative method.
Qualitative research methods
There are three mostly used qualitative data collection methods, including ethnography, grounded theory and phenomenological.
More precisely, ethnography is what comes from anthropology, the study of human societies and culture. This method is aimed at learning how people live their lives. Through this solution, researchers can have a chance to observe the participants in a nondirected way instead of using the specific and practical questions.
Moreover, Ethnography is ideal if a participant is not able to express their hopes or the reasons why they make such decisions or behaviors. In addition to asking why he or she behaves like that, researchers can understand the reasons hidden behind their hopes or decisions.
On the contrary, grounded theory comes when researchers hope to provide a level of legitimacy to qualitative research in reality instead of just assumptions. Before this method, qualitative data analysis was carried out before collecting quantitative data.
Grounded theory takes advantage of these methods. The first one is participant observation in which researchers will immerse themselves in the everyday life. The second is interviews, which can be different regarding formality, from informal conversations to structured interviews. The last option is document and artifact collection. Grounded theory often means beyond just observations and reviews. Researchers can get to know more about a group of people from taking a look at the materials they used.
As usual, a real information of a client only turns up if they send their real answers to the test. Therefore, a phenomenology will describe how people experience after some events. This method will stack up their reactions so it is important to learn the whole picture instead of just facts and figures.
An example of phenomenology is learning the experiences of individuals when it comes to a natural disaster. In order to make analysis for the data from that event, the researcher should get used to that data, pay attention to the subject matter, the time point as well as other factors and clarify the data.
After doing these requirements, the researcher may get a framework to understand how that event has influences on the people. Also, this understanding, focus and organizing will support them to identify patterns to interpret data more effectively.
Each of these qualitative data collecting solutions will lead to such factors that may lie behind simple data analysis. Also, qualitative data is an ideal task to add context and reality to raw figures.
Quantitative data collection methods
Scientists or marketers and others may begin their study with a hypothesis yet their research often comes from data collecting.
First and foremost, the collected data may be unstructured. A lot of facts and numbers are not coming with the right context. Thus, the job of a researcher is making sense from this data.
Utilizing data to define values
One of the common methods of gather data for research is quantitative data collection. Quantitative method here means assessing a numerical result. The most popular example is doing a survey, in which questions are asked to gather responses regarding interests, opinions, trends as well as other elements.
Thanks to this method, researchers can ask questions to get facts and figures. The data generated can be measured and expressed in numerical form.