Data collection is an important part of any research study


Data collection is an important part of any research study. If Data collection is inaccurate, it can have an impact on the results of a project and can ultimately lead to invalid or incorrect results.
Methods for Data collection vary between quantitative and qualitative types of research.
Quantitative data gathering may include:
• The use of experiment trials
• The use of observations and recording well-defined events
• Obtaining relevant data from management information systems
• Using surveys with closed-ended questions (face-to-face and telephone interviews and different types of questionnaires)

Face to face interviews
Advantages:
• Can enables the researcher to establish rapport with potential participants and gain their cooperation
• It has the highest response rates in survey research the researches can clarify ambiguous answers and when appropriate can follow up information
Disadvantages:
• Can be expensive
• Can be time consuming
• Can be impractical when large samples are involved
Telephone interviews
Advantages:
• Can be less time consuming
• Can be more cost effective
• Can have higher access to participants
Disadvantages:
• The response rate may not be as high as the face-to-face interview
• You are not able to reach participants that do not have phones
Computer Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI)
Advantages:
• A more personal interviewing technique
• The information can be entered directly into the data base
• Can save time when processing the data
• Can save the researcher carrying around hundreds of questionnaires
Disadvantages:
• Can be expensive to set-up
• Requires the use of a computer
• This style means the interviewer must have typing skills
Paper – Pencil – Questionnaires
Advantages:
• These can be sent to many people
• This can save the researcher time and money
• Individuals seem to be more truthful regarding controversial issues since their responses are anonymous
Disadvantages:
• Individuals might not return the questionnaire back
• Individuals who do complete, might not be representative to the original selected sample
Web based questionnaire
Advantages:
• This is a new and inevitably growing methodology
• This uses Internet based Research
• It can be quicker and less detailed
Disadvantages:
• Not all individuals have access to a computer
• This could be completed in a hurry and might not give accurate responses
Questionnaires usually make use of a check list format along with rating scales to simplify and quantify people’s behaviours and attitudes.
Checklist – is a list of behaviours, characteristics that the researcher is looking for.
Rating scale – is more useful when a behaviour needs to be evaluated on a continuum. They