Data Collection Techniques and its Benefits

While performing any work of research, be it thesis writing or academic essay writing, we always need to collect some data or information irrespective of the field we are concerned with. The purpose of collecting data is to reach a definite decision or analysis. Therefore, the process of data collection can be categorized as primary and secondary data collection technique. In this article, we are going to describe about the various means of collecting primary data to conduct any work of research.

What does Primary Data collection means?

Primary Data, commonly referred as the Field Research is the data which is collected by the user for the 1st time and therefore it is always in its rudimentary form. Generally, these types of data have not undergone any structural or statistical alteration. This method generates the most authentic type of data, and itproduces result, which tallies with the product of service offered by your organization. In addition, the data originatedis unbiased, relevant and provides current information.

Therefore, one should be aware of the above-mentioned points in order to generate a perfect array or primary data, which account for their research work.

The Appropriate methods for Primary Data Collection:

Many techniques are employed when it comes to collection of primary data. Some of them are enumerated in details below:

  • Personal Investigation – This is the rudimentary method for collection of data. An observer has to directly observe the person, contact the informant, solicit for necessary information and note down the data. There are two techniques for collecting the data – be an observer and collect without the informant’s knowledge, or else confront the informant and take down the necessary information. This provides the most authentic and accurate data, without and judgmental biasing, provided that the investigator is himself unbiased and honest while noting down the data. This method is moderately expensive and time-consuming. So it offers meager scope when it comes in data collection.
  • Use of Local Sources – Many observers rely on this method for collecting data, when they cannot rely solely on the informant’s information. This is performed with the aid of local correspondents who questions some local sources and determines the accurate necessary data.However, this method is economical and expeditious and information can be gathered from a wide range of geographical region. This technique is generally used by governments agencies, news reporters etc.
  • Oral Interviews – This technique involves in accumulation of data indirectly. The informant is not questioned here, rather persons closely associated with the interviewee is questioned. This method is quite applicable in case of burglary where plagiarism of information is concerned. This approach possesses a similarity with cross-examination, as it involves numerous persons as interviewee. This method is cheap and time-saving and it solely depends upon the capability and integrity of the interviewer.
  • Collection through Questionnaires – This is widely used approach for collection of primary data. This reaching instrument is used by formulating a series of questions about the concerned field, and then spreading the questions to the public to obtain the answers. This method is quite economical compared to other methods, but it is time-consuming. However, it possesses one major drawback, as many do not return the essential feedback to the questionnaires within relevant time. Special correspondents are hired to obtain the quality responses from the public. The questionnaires series should be made as lucid as possible, allowing more people to participate. This is essential in case of thesis writing, where the researcher can easily gather data from different sources for formulating the paperwork.
  • Performing Experimentations – This is the most convenient approach for collection of data. It offers accurate and reliably correct elements of information. This approach is employed in the field of work like physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, mathematics. Experiments consist of evaluating a series of questions in order to reach the query. The external factors can be controlled by the experimenter so as to get the accurate results. Experiments can be conducted in laboratories or as field work, after which the observations can be analyzed to obtain the interference. This system provides authentic, unbiased results. However, the approach is time-consuming and expensive. Research paper writing is highly benefitted by this approach.
  • Formulating results from Survey – Survey works is another crucial means for collection of data. Survey work provides detailed information regarding any field of interest. Marketing sectors are highly benefitted from survey work where they aim to acquire knowledge regarding attitude, preference and buyers feedback. This method can provide an in-depth study of the drawbacks and also paves the way to improvise new methods to overcome them. However, survey work cannot ensure the satisfactory data, as many people do not have willingness on their part to furnish with truthful information to the surveyors.
  • Maintain a registered record – This is a hectic approach of data collection, but it goes in a long way for preserving the information over period of time. Municipal committees retain the list of deaths and births in a particular locality, thereby helps in providing authentic data in the call of need. This is a very inexpensive means of collecting data.

The Pros and Cons of acquiring Primary Data:

Collection of primary data can be a long-drawn-out process as well as expensive, but it provides a clear-cut authentic results. This is why it is preferred over secondary approach of data collection. The following advantages will clarify its importance, which are enlisted as follows:

  • Proper Targets – The concerned target of works are approached upon by the researchers to ensure the collection of unbiased, authentic data. Since there is a clean line of interaction between the interviewers and informant, so tampering of data is reduced.
  • Proper Interpretation – Only the essential data is collected with proper interpretation, which is subjected to the specified target, and the redundant data is discarded.
  • Proper Data collection – A decent collection of data is donewithout providing obsolete information.

However, certain disadvantages do possess their threats to this approach. Some of them are listed as:

  • Expensive – Certain methods like experimentations and personal interviews are quite expensive and thus, produce a hindrance to collection of data.
  • Time Consuming – Another major hindrance is requirement of time, in case of experiments for thesis writing therefore produces a drawback to collection.
  • Inaccuracy – In case of questionnaires, there are lack of appropriate feedback, which makes the interviewer to lose enthusiasm of their work. Inadequacy of feedback offers restrain to data collection.

Information is the fundamental block for research. Therefore, the investigator should make a wise, rational choice when it comes to collecting primary data so as offer authentic information to the researchers.

What are the major classifications of the interview method?

What is an interview?

An interview consists of the conversation and consequent exchange of information, between two people or more. The interviewer asks questions of various genres to get appropriate and required facts and information from the interviewee. Interviews are an integral part of journalism;nonetheless, it also has enormous importance in qualitative research.

What should be kept in mind while facing the interviewers?

While facing interviewers, the applicant should understand the importance of the situation and therefore out in his/her best as these interviews play a very decisive role in shaping up a student’s career. The applicant should be confident and should be able to clearly communicate with the interviewer. He/she should know what to do exactly in order to make himself /herself acceptable to work in the company for which he/she is being interviewed.

What are the various classifications in interview methods?

  • Situational Interview:In these interviews, the interviewee is given situations and he/she has to elucidate what he/she would have done had they been in that situation. The interviewer analyses the answers and marks the applicant accordingly.
  • Traditional Interview: It is the typical kind of interview where the interviewer has a fixed structure for the process. There is a formal introductions followed by a question-answer procedure which is followed by a brief close.
  • Non-Directive Interview:This type of interview does not adhere to any specific structure. It is more of a conversation rather than a typical stringently structured interview. The interviewer might not intervene at all and judge the applicant on the basis of how well he/she has been able to communicate his/her skills, interests and capabilities.
  • Behavioural Interviews:These interviews are designed to gauge the reaction and the basic nature of the applicant, by making them reveal about their past behaviour in various situations. It has been observed that it becomes difficult to analyse the behaviour of an employee through structured interviews, hence many companies are using this technique to judge their employees better.
  • Screening Interviews:These interviews are typically scheduled for 30 minutes and are held during on-campus recruiting in various colleges and universities. Screening interviews might be styled in various ways: nondirective, traditional, targeted etc.
  • The On-Campus Interview: This interview is a very crucial and decisive one. The applicant should present himself in a manner that will satisfy the needs of the company. Here, the applicant has to sell himself/herself in the market effectively.
  • Structured Interview: This kind of interview includes situational questions along with other assessing questions. The same set of questions are asked to the different candidates. Such a method avoids any sort of bias that the interviewer might practice during judging the candidates.
  • Unstructured Interview:This kind of interview consists of questions that vary from person to person. It depends on the resume of the applicant. Such unstructured methods are often tricky for the applicants, as they have to be very careful about their demeanour, even in casual situations.
  • Semi-Structured Interview: This type is an amalgamation of both unstructured and structured patterns of interview. The interviewer asks a set of predefined questions to all the candidates along with certain question that pertain particularly to the candidate’s resume and his/her course work.
  • Case Interview:This kind of interview is prevalently held in consulting firms where the interviewee is tested for his ability of solving problems instantly. Logical comprehension, general and business knowledge along with communicative and quantitative skills are also tested.
  • Testing/Assessment:This procedure is undertaken as an initial screening method and has proven to be an expensive procedure on part of the employer. It is conducted to judge the consistency of a candidate in carrying out a specific task.
  • Telephone Interview:This interview is an effective way of screening candidates and reduce the number of candidates to be called to personal interviews. The candidate should keep a professional mind set during the interview even if it is not being taken face to face.
  • Video Conferencing: Video conferencing is conducted to cover up the distance between the employer and the applicant. The attire, attitude and dialogue are essential attributes that should be given special attention to while on a video conferenced interview.
  • Panel Interview:This kind of interview is conducted by more than two interviewers. Questions to the candidate is thrown from the interviewers and the candidate has to keep his/her cool while facing the panel. This kind of interview is aimed to lessen any bias pertaining to any interviewer.
  • Group Interview: This kind of interview involves simultaneous conduction of interviews of various candidates fighting for the same job. These interviews judge the applicant’s leadership skills and his/her capability to work with other employees. The interviewers get an idea of how the applicant is likely to behave if employed.
  • Sequential/Serial Interview:This type of interview involves the entire interview process to be conducted in a series of steps. The interviewee has to first give an interview to an interviewer then go to another one and thus the process of interviewing takes place serially. The interviewers judge the candidate heavily on the basis of the first impression they leave on the interviewers. The interviewers then together discuss the capability of the candidate and give the verdict about their employment.
  • General Group Interview/Information Session: This kind of interview is adopted so that time is saved and also so that the candidates are well aware of the details of the job and the company. This session is followed by the personal interview.

What is the role of interview methods in research and journalism?

For research essay or any qualitative purpose, the interviewer enquires about every aspect under consideration to get the most accurate results. The answers are many a times recorded so that it stands as proof. For any research paper, raw data is extremely essential and it is best got from people through well-organised interviews. For journalists, interview is the basic fundamental of any coverage. Getting an interview, getting out interesting and needful facts is an essential part of the journalists.

Interviews have a lot of impact on one’s professional career and therefore, should be prepared well.