Data Collection Methods: Review


Data collection can be defined as the process of systematically generating information that has been observed. There are various methods of data collection and the choice of the method to be used largely depends on the purpose of the research. Data collection methods are grouped into two broad categories which are qualitative and quantitative data collection methods. Some of the qualitative data collection methods include observation method, in-depth interviews, and document reviews among others (Lind et al, 2011).

On the other hand, quantitative data collection methods include experiments, questionnaires, interviews and surveys (Lind et al, 2011).

Data collection is an important aspect of any research because it validates the credibility of the results. Good data collection methods will ensure accurate results while poor data collection will lead to invalid results. This essay is going to evaluate and analyze the various data collection methods used in the research as well as the challenges encountered in the entire process of data collection.


Questionnaires and interviews were the major data collection methods used because the type of data that was being collected was primary data. Before collecting the data, some ethical considerations were observed. The participants were informed about the purpose of the research and the subject participation was voluntary (McClave et al, 2011). Questionnaires were used on the samples of 18 years of age because of their cognitive ability to read, write and comprehend facts. On the other hand, interviews were used on the 13 years samples so that the interviewee could rephrase some of the research questions for easier understanding.

The major change that was made in regard to data collection was the introduction of interviews as the second data collection method. Interviews were introduced in order to take care of the 13 years old sample. Some of the 13 years old samples could not effectively write or interpret written facts. As a result, interviews presented a better and effective data collection method for this sample (McClave et al, 2011).

The change that was made had some positive as well as negative impacts. The positive impact was that the 13 years old sample could easily and effectively provide accurate answers to the research questions. Collecting accurate data would have been difficult if questionnaires were used on this sample.

The major negative implication that was evident due to the change was that many interviewers were required in order to effectively undertake the research. This meant that a lot of manpower was required and also extensive training of the interviewees. This directly increased the cost of conducting the research (Lind et al, 2011). Also, another major implication of the change was that the integrity of the data collected was compromised. The change meant that interviewees were supposed to conduct interviews and some of them, to some extent, would conduct “ghost” interviews (McClave et al, 2011).

In order to ensure the integrity of the data, some precaution measures were undertaken. Firstly, the questionnaires were designed in a simple and understandable language. The questionnaire was precise and straight to the point. This made the filling in of the questionnaire quite easy and fast (Lind et al, 2011).

Secondly, the interviewees were extensively trained on how to conduct a professional research and on the importance of collecting valid information. They were also expected to adhere to the research code of conduct during the research period (McClave et al, 2011). Also, in order to ensure these considerations were met, the interviewees were monitored electronically to ensure that they had collected information in their assigned areas of research.

Unexpected events

The major unexpected event in the process of conducting the research was that some of the 18 years samples were not in a position to effectively fill in the questionnaires on their own. As, a result, some researchers had to revert to interview data collection method in order to collect data from such individuals.

Raw facts and figures

13 years old sample.

Sex No. of CDs bought. Type of music.
(No. of respondents).
Source of cash (No. of respondents). Estimated cost of CD’s bought.
4000 Secular – 8.
Gospel- 6.
Other – 1.
Parents – 6.
Own – 3.
Boyfriends – 6.
Secular – $8000.
Gospel – $ 3950.Other – $2750.
10000 Secular – 10.
Gospel- 2.
Other – 3.
Parents – 13.
Own – 2.
Secular – $19000.
Gospel – $ 8950.Other – $10750.

The 18 years Age group.

Sex No. of CDs bought. Type of music.
(No. of respondents).
Source of cash (No. of respondents). Estimated cost of CD’s bought.
9000 Secular – 9.
Gospel- 1.
Other – 4.
Parents – 5.
Own – 5.
Boyfriends – 5.
Secular – $14000.
Gospel – $ 2700.Other – $5420.
18000 Secular -11.
Gospel- 1.
Other – 3.
Parents – 4.
Own – 11.
Secular – $ 25000.
Gospel – $ 6950.Other – $15750.


In conclusion, data collection is an important aspect of any research. The integrity of data collected is, therefore, important since it will validate the results obtained. The choice of the data collection method largely depends on the type of research to be conducted. In order to obtain valid results, then an efficient and effective data collection method should be used.

Reference List

Lind, D. A & Marchal, W. G & Wathen, S. A. (2011). Basic statistics for business and Economics. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

McClave, J. T & Benson, P. G & Sincich, T. (2011). Statistics for business and Economics. Boston, MA: Pearson-Prentice Hall.

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