Depending on the need, availability of information and expected outputs one or combination of more than one methods for data collection and analysis needs to be adopted. Following are some of the methods for data collection -
1. Primary Research - this method involves collecting information from first hand research done by other individuals / teams / groups and using it to draw inferences with due references to the original research work.
2. Secondary Research - this method involves collecting information which has been derived or inferred from some other primary research work. This may involve articles, secondary research reports, published opinions, etc. among others.
3. Survey - this is a widely known method of data collection by conducting a survey over a sample target population and analyzing the results in order to get first hand information on the research work.
5. Interviews - interviews are another form of collecting information from relevant target population and use the information captured to satisfy the research objectives. Interviews can be structured or unstructured and can be conducted in person or on phone or video conference.
6. Delphi Method - this is a method for collection of expert opinion in the area in which research is being conducted. Experts consulted should be credible and knowledgeable people in the area of the research.
For each of the data collection met...
However, the above list captures the most commonly used data collection methods.
Pros and Cons
For each of the data collection methods stated above, there are pros and cons of adopting them in a research project as well as appropriateness for specific type of research projects. Following is a brief discussion on the same -
1. Primary Research - this is a good method of data collection as it provides valuable data points for the research without actually conducting a firsthand research. This method is useful where there are constraints on either time or resources for conducting fully fledged research activities. However, this is still a substitute for actual research. Information available may not exactly match the conditions needed for the research. Hence, there may be compromises or assumptions to be made while using this form of research. This may lead to inaccuracies in research results.
2. Secondary Research - similar to primary research, secondary research may also used in cases of constraints on resources or time. Many times, this form of research is used as a literature review for first step in a research project to provide rough idea on the research topic. This provides important data points which may be useful for designing the actual research, tools used and analysis of data. Again, the disadvantages are that the secondary source information may have inherent inaccuracies introduced while drawing inferences and conclusions from the primary research sources.
3. Survey - this is a popular data collection tool used while conducting business research or market research. The survey results and their analysis provide first hand information directly from the main sources and are not dependent on inferences or