Collection of Statistical Data Statistical Data: A sequence of observation, made on a set of objects included in the sample drawn from

population is known as statistical data. (1) Ungrouped Data: Data which have been arranged in a systematic order are called raw data or ungrouped data. (2) Grouped Data: Data presented in the form of frequency distribution is called grouped data. Collection of Data: The first step in any enquiry (investigation) is collection of data. The data may be collected for the whole population or for a sample only. It is mostly collected on sample basis. Collection of data is very difficult job. The enumerator or investigator is the well trained person who collects the statistical data. The respondents (information) are the persons whom the information is collected. Types of Data: There are two types (sources) for the collection of data. (1) Primary Data (2) Secondary Data (1) Primary Data: The primary data are the first hand information collected, compiled and published by organization for some purpose. They are most original data in character and have not undergone any sort of statistical treatment. Example: Population census reports are primary data because these are collected, complied and published by the population census organization. (2) Secondary Data: The secondary data are the second hand information which are already collected by some one (organization) for some purpose and are available for the present study. The secondary data are not pure in character and have undergone some treatment at least once. Example: Economics survey of England is secondary data because these are collected by more than one organization like Bureau of statistics, Board of Revenue, the Banks etc…

Methods of Collecting Primary Data: Primary data are collected by the following methods:

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Personal Investigation: The researcher conducts the survey him/herself and collects data from it. The data collected in this way is usually accurate and reliable. This method of collecting data is only applicable in case of small research projects. Through Investigation: Trained investigators are employed to collect the data. These investigators contact the individuals and fill in questionnaire after asking the required information. Most of the organizing implied this method. Collection through Questionnaire: The researchers get the data from local representation or agents that are based upon their own experience. This method is quick but gives only rough estimate. Through Telephone: The researchers get information through telephone this method is quick and give accurate information.

Methods of Collecting Secondary Data: The secondary data are collected by the following sources:

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Official: e.g. The publications of the Statistical Division, Ministry of Finance, the Federal Bureaus of Statistics, Ministries of Food, Agriculture, Industry, Labor etc… Semi-Official: e.g. State Bank, Railway Board, Central Cotton Committee, Boards of Economic Enquiry etc…

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Publication of Trade Associations, Chambers of Commerce etc… Technical and Trade Journals and Newspapers. Research Organizations such as Universities and other institutions.

Difference between Primary and Secondary Data: The difference between primary and secondary data is only a change of hand. The primary data are the first hand data information which is directly collected form one source. They are most original data in character and have not undergone any sort of statistical treatment while the secondary data are obtained from some other sources or agencies. They are not pure in character and have undergone some treatment at least once. For Example: Suppose we interested to find the average age of MS students. We collect the age’s data by two methods; either by directly collecting from each student himself personally or getting their ages from the university record. The data collected by the direct personal investigation is called primary data and the data obtained from the university record is called secondary data.

Editing of Data: After collecting the data either from primary or secondary source, the next step is its editing. Editing means the examination of collected data to discover any error and mistake before presenting it. It has to be decided before hand what degree of accuracy is wanted and what extent of errors can be tolerated in the inquiry. The editing of secondary data is simpler than that of primary data.

Data collection is a term used to describe a process of preparing and collecting data, for example, as part of a process improvement or similar project. The purpose of data collection is to obtain information to keep on record, to make decisions about important issues, or to pass information on to others. Data are primarily collected to provide information regarding a specific topic.[1] Data collection usually takes place early on in an improvement project, and is often formalised through a data collection plan[2] which often contains the following activity. 1. 2. 3. Pre collection activity — agree on goals, target data, definitions, methods Collection — data collection Present Findings — usually involves some form of sorting[3] analysis and/or presentation.

Prior to any data collection, pre-collection activity is one of the most crucial steps in the process. It is often discovered too late that the value of their interview information is discounted as a consequence of poor sampling of both questions and informants and poor elicitation techniques.[4] After pre-collection activity is fully completed, data collection in the field, whether by interviewing or other methods, can be carried out in a structured, systematic and scientific way. A formal data collection process is necessary as it ensures that data gathered are both defined and accurate and that subsequent decisions based on arguments embodied in the findings are valid.[5] The process provides both a baseline from which to measure from and in certain cases a target on what to improve. Other main types of collection include census, sample survey, and administrative by-product and each with their respective advantages and disadvantages. A census refers to data collection about everyone or everything in a group or population and has advantages, such as accuracy and detail and disadvantages, such as cost and time. A sample survey is a data collection method that includes only part of the total population and has advantages, such as cost and time and disadvantages, such as accuracy and detail. Administrative by-product data are collected as a byproduct of an organization's day-to-day operations and has advantages, such as accuracy, time simplicity and disadvantages, such as no flexibility and lack of control. [ A questionnaire is a research instrument consisting of a series of questions and other prompts for the purpose of gathering information from respondents. Although they are often designed for statistical analysis of the responses, this is not always the case. The questionnaire was invented by Sir Francis Galton.[citation needed]

Questionnaires have advantages over some other types of surveys in that they are cheap, do not require as much effort from the questioner as verbal or telephone surveys, and often have standardized answers that make it simple to compile data. However, such standardized answers may frustrate users. Questionnaires are also sharply limited by the fact that respondents must be able to read the questions and respond to them. Thus, for some demographic groups conducting a survey by questionnaire may not be practical. As a type of survey, questionnaires also have many of the same problems relating to question construction and wording that exist in other types of opinion polls.

Types A distinction can be made between questionnaires with questions that measure separate variables, and questionnaires with questions that are aggregated into either a scale or index.[1] Questionnaires within the former category are commonly part of surveys, whereas questionnaires in the latter category are commonly part of tests. Questionnaires with questions that measure separate variables, could for instance include questions on:

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preferences (e.g. political party) behaviors (e.g. food consumption) facts (e.g. gender)

Questionnaires with questions that are aggregated into either a scale or index, include for instance questions that measure:

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latent traits (e.g. personality traits such as extroversion) attitudes (e.g. towards immigration) an index (e.g. Social Economic Status)

Examples

A food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) is a questionnaire to assess the type of diet consumed in people, and may be used as a research instrument. Examples of usages include assessment of intake of vitamins or toxins such as acrylamide.[2][3]

Questionnaire construction Main article: Questionnaire construction Question types Usually, a questionnaire consists of a number of questions that the respondent has to answer in a set format. A distinction is made between open-ended and closed-ended questions. An open-ended question asks the respondent to formulate his own answer, whereas a closed-ended question has the respondent pick an answer from a given number of options. The response options for a closed-ended question should be exhaustive and mutually exclusive. Four types of response scales for closed-ended questions are distinguished:

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Dichotomous, where the respondent has two options Nominal-polytomous, where the respondent has more than two unordered options Ordinal-polytomous, where the respondent has more than two ordered options (Bounded)Continuous, where the respondent is presented with a continuous scale

A respondent's answer to an open-ended question is coded into a response scale afterwards. An example of an open-ended question is a question where the testee has to complete a sentence (sentence completion item). [1] Question sequence In general, questions should flow logically from one to the next. To achieve the best response rates, questions should flow from the least sensitive to the most sensitive, from the factual and behavioural to the attitudinal, and from the more general to the more specific. Basic rules for questionnaire item construction

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Use statements which are interpreted in the same way by members of different subpopulations of the population of interest. Use statements where persons that have different opinions or traits will give different answers. Think of having an "open" answer category after a list of possible answers. Use only one aspect of the construct you are interested in per item. Use positive statements and avoid negatives or double negatives. Do not make assumptions about the respondent. Use clear and comprehensible wording, easily understandable for all educational levels Use correct spelling, grammar and punctuation. Avoid items that contain more than one question per item (e.g. Do you like strawberries and potatoes?).

Questionnaire administration modes Main modes of questionnaire administration are:[1]

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Face-to-face questionnaire administration, where an interviewer presents the items orally. Paper-and-pencil questionnaire administration, where the items are presented on paper. Computerized questionnaire administration, where the items are presented on the computer. Adaptive computerized questionnaire administration, where a selection of items is presented on the computer, and based on the answers on those items, the computer selects following items optimized for the testee's estimated ability or trait.

Planning steps The guide to planning an educational research study is designed primarily for college and university faculty. By following each step, you will create a research plan customized to your needs. While some of the tasks may seem self-evident, they are all necessary to create a valid study. STEP 1: Identify the problem or topic Identify a research problem or area of interest from everyday life experiences, practical issues, past research, or theory. Pay attention to the feasibility of your research problem or topic and whether it can be researched systematically. Determine the resources needed to conduct the study, your interest level, its size and complexity, as well as the value of your results or solution for both theory and practice. To thoroughly describe the research problem or topic, create a statement that includes the educational topic or specific problem and the justification for research. STEP 2: Review prior research

Explore the research literature to gain an understanding of the current state of knowledge pertaining to your research problem. A review of prior research will inform you if your research problem has already been explored (and if a revision or replication is needed), how to design your study, what data collection methods to use, and how to make sense of the findings of your study once data analysis is complete. Reviewing prior research can also help with creating research questions, what population to explore, and laying the theoretical groundwork for your study. If you are conducting qualitative research, this step is sometimes used throughout the research process or after data is collected (e.g., grounded theory research). The most effective and efficient way to review prior research is to search educational journals through electronic computer databases such as ERIC, PsychINFO, or Google Scholar. Searching other library databases is also recommended. STEP 3: Determine the Research Purpose, Research Questions, or Hypotheses Identifying a clear purpose and creating a purpose statement helps determine how the research should be conducted, what research design to use, and the research question(s) or hypothesis(es) of your study. Four general purposes for conducting educational research are to explore, describe, predict, or explain the relation between two or more educational variables.

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Explore – an attempt to generate ideas about educational phenomenon Describe – an attempt to describe the characteristics of educational phenomenon Predict – an attempt to forecast an educational phenomenon Explain – an attempt to show why and how an educational phenomenon operates

The purpose of your study will help you determine which research design you should follow. [more] Three research designs are mixed, qualitative, and quantitative paradigms. View a table comparing the three research approaches Your research purpose will also help you develop the research question(s) or hypothesis(es) of your study. A research question is an extension of your purpose statement and specifically states the questions you will attempt to answer. Usually, research questions are used when your study’s purpose is more exploratory or descriptive. A hypothesis states your expectations concerning the relation between two or more variables in the research problem or your area of interest. Usually, a hypothesis represents an extension of a purpose statement or research question by adding a prediction or explanation component. STEP 4: Consider research implications Implications are the practical ways your research will assist the field of education. These are the underlying goals, the rationales for, or the importance of your study. Implications are linked to your research problem or topic, research purpose, and research question(s) or hypothesis(es). STEP 5: Construct a research proposal The research proposal is a detailed description of how the study will be conducted that includes the study title and researcher names, statement of the research problem and research purpose, review of relevant literature, and the research question(s) or hypothesis(es). The proposal also includes a formal description of the procedure to be used in the study that includes the information or variables to be gathered, the participants of the study and potential benefits or risks, the design and procedure for gathering data, what data gathering method(s) will be used, and how the data will be analyzed.

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