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PSY 2060 Assignment Data Collection

PSY 2060 Assignment Data Collection


Data collection is defined as the procedure of collecting, measuring and analyzing accurate insights for research using standard validated techniques. A researcher can evaluate their hypothesis on the basis of collected data. In most cases, data collection is the primary and most important step for research, irrespective of the field of research. The approach of data collection is different for different fields of study, depending on the required information.

The most critical objective of data collection is ensuring that information-rich and reliable data is collected for statistical analysis so that data-driven decisions can be made for research.

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

Essentially there are four choices for data collection – in-person interviews, mail, phone and online. There are pros and cons to each of these modes.

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In-Person Interviews
Pros: In-depth and a high degree of confidence on the data
Cons: Time consuming, expensive and can be dismissed as anecdotal

Mail Surveys
Pros: Can reach anyone and everyone – no barrier
Cons: Expensive, data collection errors, lag time

Phone Surveys
Pros: High degree of confidence in the data collected, reach almost anyone
Cons: Expensive, cannot self-administer, need to hire an agency

Web/Online Surveys
Pros: Cheap, can self-administer, very low probability of data errors
Cons: Not all your customers might have an email address/be on the internet, customers may be wary of divulging information online.

In-person interviews always are better, but the big drawback is the trap you might fall into if you don’t do them regularly. It is expensive to regularly conduct interviews and not conducting enough interviews might give you false positives. Validating your research is almost as important as designing and conducting it. We’ve seen many instances where after the research is conducted – if the results do not match up with the “gut-feel” of upper management, it has been dismissed off as anecdotal and a “one-time” phenomenon. To avoid such traps, we strongly recommend that data-collection be done on an “ongoing and regular” basis. This will help you in comparing and analyzing the change in perceptions according to marketing done for your products/services. The other issue here is sample size. To be confident with your research you have to interview enough people to weed out the fringe elements.

A couple of years ago there was quite a lot of discussion about online surveys and their statistical validity. The fact that not every customer had internet connectivity was one of the main concerns. Although some of the discussions are still valid, the reach of the internet as a means of communication has become vital in the majority of customer interactions. According to the US Census Bureau, the number of households with computers has doubled between 1997 and 2001.

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