How Does the Study of Data Collection Methods Differ From Methodology?


What is study of data collection?

Studying data collection basically means studying the process of sampling. Sampling means selecting a certain subset from the total population to analyse because the whole population is difficult to study. Sampling can be either probability or non-probability. In the probability, there is a non-zero probability of every individual of the population of being selected while in the non-probability sampling people are selected in a non-random manner.

Sampling- The different ways

There are numerous ways to study data collection or the sampling methods.

  • Random sampling- this is a very pure process of sampling because in this process every individual has a known and equal chance of getting selected. This is very helpful in case of a huge population.
  • Systematic sampling- this can be used in place of Random sampling. It is also known as the Nth name selection process. When a sample size is selected every Nth record is selected from it. This method is as good as Random sampling and as effective. The best thing about this method is that it is very simple and easy to try. It can be used for choosing select number of files from computer.
  • Stratified sampling- it is a very effective method as it reduces the sampling error to a large extent and hence can be chosen over Random sampling method. In this process all the relevant stratums in a population are selected. Then via Random, sampling subjects from those stratums are selected. Stratum is a group of people in a population, which share at least one common characteristic.
  • Convenience sampling- mainly used in exploratory research. In this case a sample is selected because it is convenient. The whole process is inexpensive and can be used for preliminary research efforts.
  • Judgment sampling- this is a very common non-probability method. The academic writer selects the sample on the basis of his judgement. But the academic essay writer must make sure the sample is chosen wisely and is truly representative of the whole population.
  • Quota sampling- it is similar to Stratified sampling but belongs to non-probability method. The stratums are selected but the subjects are chosen on the basis of Convenience sampling or Judgement sampling unlike Stratified sampling where the subjects are chosen on the basis of Random sampling.
  • Snowball sampling- this is a very special non-probability method and used only when the desired sample character is not common.

These are the sampling methods, which can be studied during a research work. But choosing which sampling method is suitable for your research can be a daunting task since it can do much to spoil your research work.

What is methodology?

Methodology usually refers to which sampling should you choose. As it has already been referred to earlier, any research work is open to a number of sampling methods.

  • Probability methods: one of the best sampling methods.

o Simple random sampling- the whole population is available.

o Stratified sampling- Random sampling done within selected stratum.

o Systematic sampling- when a number of people representative of the population are available.

o Cluster sampling- in a situation where the population groups are usually separated.

  • Quota methods: you get to choose the number of people you will be sampling.

o Quota sampling- though you get to choose from the whole population but you can only take as many as you require.

o Proportionate quota sampling- you choose according to the population distribution amongst different groups. Very effective when you are dealing with minority.

o Non-proportionate quota sampling- you only choose the minimum amount of people from every group.

  • Selective methods: it is helpful when it comes to selective or target groups.

o Purposive sampling- studying a group of people on the basis of intent.

o Expert sampling- helpful when you need experts.

o Snowball sampling- very useful when you want similar subjects.

o Modal instance sampling- focuses on ‘typical’ people and hence useful when you are dealing with them. Since the normal methods tend to overlook them.

o Diversity sampling- it works when you want to go for the differences.

  • Convenience methods: simple, effective yet not so time consuming.

o Snowball sampling- you need similar subjects.

o Convenience sampling- choosing the subject according to convenience.

o Judgment sampling- you get to judge and choose the sample population.

  • Ethnographic methods: usually good for field-based observations:

o Selective sampling- choose what you think is right but focus must be given to some particular groups or locations or even subjects; whatever your research work demands.

o Theoretical sampling- you use this sampling method to test any theory, which you want to include in your research work.

o Convenience sampling- choosing subjects according to convenience.

o Judgment sampling- you get to be the judge of what is best for your research work and then select the sample population accordingly.

Choosing the right method

Choosing the method of sampling which will be perfect for your research can be difficult since each method of sampling serves a particular purpose. The best sampling method is the one, which will help you meet the goals of your research work.

  • The goals: if you do not know the goals of your research work then you cannot choose the most effective sampling methods. So list the goals and choose accordingly. Usually every research work has to basic goals- maximum precision and minimum budget. If your research work has any other goals then list them.
  • Sampling methods: go through all the sampling methods. This way you will get acquainted with all the sampling methods which will enable you to judge the different methods. Make a list of all the cost effective methods and another list of those sampling methods that are effective and precise. You can make another list according to your requirements.
  • Test: after you are done making the list of probable sampling methods, test their ability to serve your purpose. This is important because in this step, you will get to know which method is effective and to what extent.
  • The final step is to choose the best method.

Primary and Secondary Methodology

All you need to know about primary and secondary methodology!

Every procedure requires to be done using specific methodologies. The methods to be used while carrying out the procedure must be such that it smoothens the procedure, making it efficient consequently producing desired results.These results have to be used by students while writing their term papers or research essay. While carrying out any sort of academic research, two types of methodologies should be followed. They are:

  • Primary research methodology: The primary research is done basicallyby analysing primary data. This method involves the account of notes and collected information by the person undertaking the research. The data collected depends on the research carried out originally by the student or researcher. The methods opted while undertaking primary research are gathering answers through questionnaires and conducting interviews over telephone or the internet while conducting market research. Observations are noted while carrying out scientific research. This method is applied in fields like academic research, competitive intelligence, scientific research and market research.
  • Secondary research methodology: This method involves the procedure of analysing and interpreting data collected via primary research. The researcher gathers information from various sources and uses the various data and information to make justified conclusions about a subject. For secondary methodology to be efficient, it is necessary that the primary research be effective. When primary research is done, then a lot of extra information is often gathered, which can be saved to be used for later writing purposes or research. No information collected should be absolutely discarded, as it would save time and effort if the information is already gathered.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of primary research?

  • Advantages:
  1. It is possible for the researcher to concentrate on both quantitative and qualitative aspects of the subject under research.
  2. The researcher knows the needs and carries out the research in such a manner that it is specific in nature and no irrelevant information is gathered.
  3. Depending on the information collected through this research, the researcher can estimate the time required for the experiment and the complete research. The researcher will also be able to set the goal and size of the experiment even more specifically. At this point of time, the researcher is in full control of the research methods being carried out.
  • Disadvantages:
  1. Cost of primary research is found to be high. A lot of investment in doing the groundwork as it involves a lot of samples. The student or researcher has to take in account all possibilities and carry out tests on all of them. Equipment costs also add up.
  2. The time taken to carry out primary research is also longer as the subjects under consideration are large in number. The primary research is done only after an organised research plan regarding the development of the project is properly executed.
  3. Some essential data or equipment might not be readily available. It might also be that the response time from subjects or observations to be taken from conducted experiments require a lot of time. This hampers the pace of the primary research. Sometimes the primary data collected becomes invalid because it no longer holds true by the end of the research due to the total time taken for the research.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of secondary research?

  • Advantages:
  1. Secondary data is found in books, journals and vastly on the internet. Search engines have been optimised efficiently to give you all the information within a moment. Secondary data collection thus takes very less time.
  2. Accessibility to data of all types is very convenient. Libraries are a great help while gathering information from documents. But nothing helps more than the internet that serves all the purposes. But care has to be taken so that the information collected or conclusions drawn are based on facts that are valid.
  3. The method is cheap as one can analyse larger sets of data without incurring any additional cost. The compilation of larger data does not require greater cost unlike gathering of larger amount of data.
  4. Secondary research can be done easily by collaborating with researchers, professors from all over the world. Discussions, suggestions and analysis of gathered data can be obtained by communicating with them easily. Thus, longitudinal and international studies becomes a very feasible option when secondary research is taken into consideration.
  5. From the various information gathered, it is easy for the researchers to develop new insights. This gives potential for the researchers to give an entire new dimension to the research. Confirmation of gathered data or previously made conclusions is also an essential procedure while conducting research that is fulfilled while undertaking secondary research methodology.
  • Disadvantages:
  1. The entire purpose of secondary research becomes a failure if the data collected is invalid. The methods are not designed to check the validity of the data. Hence, this acts a major disadvantage.
  2. The quality of analysis depends on the researcher. There is no way to control the quality. It has to be trusted that appointed researcher or academic writer will put in his best while analysing and putting down the gathered information.

The collaboration and efficient amalgamation of primary and secondary research helps a writer to make a good research paper. While writing a research paper or any document compiling the data of the primary and secondary research, the writer has to keep in mind the format that he or she has to abide by. The methods, experiments that have been conducted have to be mentioned in detail. The conclusions and the reasons for the conclusions have to be specified in a justified manner. The facts to be mentioned should be verified before stating them in any document that will be up for publishing. The information has to be genuine,otherwise the impression of the researcher or the student is hampered greatly.Research essayand term papers are very important part of the curriculum of a student pursuing higher education. Therefore, while writing a research paper and conducting research for that, he/she should keep the above stated facts in mind. The advantages and disadvantages of the methodologies should be kept in mind while undertaking research.