Methods Of Data Collection in PhD Thesis Research and Masters

Data Collection

  • The procedure of measuring, collecting, and analyzing the required data stores for the purpose of research using the standard validation techniques, is known as data collection.
  • This collected data is the foundation on which a researcher can evaluate their hypothesis with. Mostly, the collection of data is the primary and the most essential task for a researcher to do for the research, irrespective of the topic of the research.
  • There are different approaches taken for different fields of study, based on the data that is required for your research.
  • Collecting information-rich and reliable data is the most critical objective for carrying out the statistical analysis as it ensures that the decisions that are to be taken for the research are data-driven and hence, reliable

Data Collection Methods: Phone vs. Online vs. In-Person Interviews

There are mainly four ways by which you can collect data for your research. It includes in-person interviews, mail surveys, phone surveys, and online interviews. They are chosen on the basis of their respective pros and cons.

In-Person Interviews
Pros: Detailed and qualitative form of data along with being somewhat reliable.
Cons: Takes too much time, resources, and can be unreliable at many times.

Mail Surveys
Pros: Doesn’t have any kind of barriers on its reach.

Cons: Is expensive, consists of a lot of errors and can take a lot of time from the surveying side.

Phone Surveys
Pros: Consists of a high degree of confidence in its data and can be collected from nearly anywhere in the world.
Cons: Costs a lot, cannot be handled by one’s own self, requires third-party assistance.

Web/Online Surveys
Pros: Costs a lot less compared to the others, can be handled by one’s own self, and has a negligible amount of data errors.
Cons: unavailability of the required field consistency by the customer side and the fear of customers from getting their personal information leaked on the internet

Multi-Mode Surveys

Another way of taking surveys is by collecting them from different modes, such as paper, phone. Online, etc. These modern methods are much straightforward as well as easy to be executed. The data from the surveys taken through phone and paper is stored in the system by a data entry operator who types it out in the computer. The same way can also be followed to take the data right from the customer.

Data Collection Example

One of the most important aspects of research is data collecting. To see it with an example, let’s take a mobile manufacturing company, company X, who is launching their new product variant in the market. To make sure that this device consists of the best features, there has some data to be collected about the features, price range, target market, competitor analysis, etc. from a trusted and reliable source. Online surveys or focus groups are the tasks done by the marketing team to collect such data from the customers.

A survey on such a product should consist of questions such as “What features do you expect from the new product?”, “How much amount would you be comfortable to spend on such product?”, or maybe “which competitors provide with such similar products”, and more as such.

The participants as well as a mediator should be present in the case of when a focus group is conducted. The key topics that are to be the base of the discussion should be explained at the start so that the discussion does not stray away from the topic and a productive conclusion can be noted as the end product.

The available resources should determine the data collection method that is to be carried out for the research. as conducting questionnaires and surveys require way fewer resources than conducting a focus group

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