But information is not something that is handed to anyone on a silver platter. It starts with a small raw fact or figure — or a set of raw facts and figures — that are not organized and, all too often, without meaning or context.
Personal interviews are still commonplace for collecting primary information for the following reasons: Better explanations In a face-to-face interview, respondents have more time to consider their answers and the interviewer can gain a deeper understanding of the validity of a response.
Sometimes interviewers need to show advertisements, logos, headlines or samples and this is plainly suited to personal situations.
Depth It is easier to maintain the interest of respondents for a longer period of time in face-to-face interviews.
Being face-to-face with respondents gives the interviewer more control and refusals to answer questions are less likely than over the telephone. Greater accuracy In a face-to-face interview respondents can look up information and products can be examined.
If the interview is at a business, files of information can be referred to, or phone calls made to colleagues to confirm a point. The interviewer may be able to make a visual check to ensure that the answers are correct.
Product placements Product placements can be sent through the post but it is usually better for them to be delivered by hand by the interviewer. Face-to-face contact with respondents permits a more thorough briefing on how to use the product.
Pre-test questions can be asked, and arrangements can be made for the follow-up. Against the advantages of face-to-face interviewing, there are a number of disadvantages: Organisation Face-to-face interviews are difficult to organise.
If the interviews are country-wide, a national field force is required. The subject may be complex and demand a personal briefing, which is expensive to arrange when interviewers are scattered geographically.
Control Monitoring and controlling face-to-face interviews is more difficult than with telephone interviews. Face-to-face interviews need to have a supervisor in attendance for part of the time and check-backs, by visit or post, must be organised. For the most part, however, the interviewer is working in isolation and the quality of the work has a considerable dependency on the conscientiousness of the individual.
Cost The cost of face-to-face interviews is considerably higher than the cost of carrying out telephone interviews.
Time Face-to-face interviews are time consuming because of the travel time between respondents. The prior commitments of the field force and the delays caused by questionnaires being mailed out and returned, normally mean that at least a two-week period is necessary for organising a face-to-face interviewing project.
A month is more reasonable. A programme of business-to-business interviews may have less personal interviews than a consumer study but they too take an inordinate amount of time to organise as the researchers struggle to set up interviews in the diaries of busy managers.
Telephone interviews The greatest advantages of telephone interviewing is that it saves time and money. High speed, low cost In favourable circumstances, perhaps five to six minute interviews with managers in industry can be completed in a day over the telephone. In the same time only 1 or 2 interviews can be achieved face-to-face.
The telephone is quicker and cheaper than face-to-face interviews — there is no time wasted in travel between interview points. Limitations There are sometimes good reasons for not using telephone interviews.
Visuals are sometimes difficult to use and, if respondents need to consider a number of pre-determined factors in order to test their views, it is often hard for the respondents to hold more than five or six factors in their mind.
The lack of personal contact prohibits the interviewer assessing respondents and obtaining an extra feel for what is behind the reply. Despite these limitations, the advantages are considerable and the method is likely to continue to make inroads against face-to-face interviews. Self-completion interviews The factor that influences the response rate of a postal survey more than anything else is the interest that respondents have in the subject.
A postal or e-survey of customers is likely to achieve a higher response than one of non-customers because there is an interest in and a relationship between customers and the sponsor of the study.
In contrast, respondents receiving a questionnaire through the post enquiring about the type of pen they use would most probably yield a low response less than 5 per cent is likelybecause the subject is not compelling.
Researchers should avoid using postal surveys except when respondents are highly motivated to answer. Self-completion surveys depend on suitable databases containing the correct names and postal or e-mail addresses of respondents.Data Collection is an important aspect of any type of research study.
Inaccurate data collection can impact the results of a study and ultimately lead to invalid results. Data collection methods for impact evaluation vary along a continuum. Data collection is the process of gathering and measuring information on variables of interest, in an established systematic fashion that enables one to answer stated research questions, test hypotheses, and evaluate outcomes.
The data collection component of research is common to all fields of study including physical and social sciences, humanities, business, etc. In more details, in this part the author outlines the research strategy, the research method, the research approach, the methods of data collection, the selection of the sample, the research.
This is a research or data collection method that is performed repeatedly, on the same data sources, over an extended period of time. It is an observational research method that could even cover a span of years and, in some cases, even decades. Data collection is a process of collecting information from all the relevant sources to find answers to the research problem, test the hypothesis and evaluate the outcomes.
Data collection methods can be divided into two categories: secondary methods of data collection and primary methods of data collection. The choice of data collection methods depends on the research problem under study, the research design and the information gathered about the variable.
Broadly, the data collection methods can be classified into two categories.