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Dr.Valliammal Shanmugam Lecturer CON NIMHANS

Data collection begins after a research problem has been selected and research design has been planned out.

Primary and secondary data
From where or from whom will you get the information? • Existing information – records, reports, program documents, logs, journals • People – participants, parents, volunteers, teachers • Pictorial records and observations – video or photos, observations of events, artwork

Types of Primary Data
• Demographic/Socioeconomic – Age, Sex, Income, Marital Status, Occupation • Psychological/Lifestyle – Activities, Interests, Personality Traits • Attitudes/Opinions – Preferences, Views, Feelings, Inclinations • Awareness/Knowledge – Facts about product, features, price, uses • Intentions – Planned or Anticipated Behavior • Motivations – Why People Buy (Needs, Wants, Wishes, Ideal-Self) • Behavior – Purchase, Use, Timing, Traffic Flow

Primary Data Can Be Gathered By:
• Communication Methods
– Interacting with respondents – Asking for their opinions, attitudes, motivations, characteristics

• Observation Methods
– No interaction with respondents – Letting them behave naturally and drawing conclusions from their actions

Communication Methods of Primary Data Collection
• Methods include: – Surveys – Focus Groups – Panels • Highly versatile in terms of types of data • Generally more speedy • Typically more cost effective – Electronic media have made observation cheaper – Activities, Interests, Personality Traits

Common methods include:
• Survey
• Case Study • Interview

• Testimonials
• Tests • Photograph, videotape, slides • Diaries, journals, logs • Document review and analysis

• Observation
• Group assessment • Expert or peer reviews

• Portfolio reviews

Survey Research
• Most common type of research in the social sciences. • When to use:
– Used when researcher wants to get at underlying attitudes and disposition surrounding a piece of information. – Used when researcher wants to look at broad patters of social life or to discuss widespread social reactions(not necessarily the case for in-depth interview). – Used to gather information to describe characteristics of a specific population.

• Quality
– The quality of a survey depends on its design, including questions and sample selection of population

Advantages of Survey Research
• Allows researcher to select precise samples of population of interest. This results in
– Generalize results
• Relate finding from sample to larger population

– The ability to use statistical techniques and to aggregate data so can discuss general characteristics of a social group.

• The ability to test reliability of indicators (questions) • The ability in panel studies to establish a time dimension to carry-out causal analysis.

Disadvantages of Surveys
• Difficult to find out in-depth information about a cultural or social group. • Difficult to use when unfamiliar with the population of interest. (ethnography better) • Inappropriate when interested in establishing causes and processes for specific behaviors or attitudes. (experiments better)

Types of Survey Administration
• Interviews
– Face to face – Telephone – Focus groups Used in other types of research including qualitative studies

• Self Administered
– Mail – Group or in person administration – Mail or internet

Types of Survey Schedules and Questions
• Types of questionnaires
– Structured – Unstructured

• Types of questions
– Open-ended – Closed response

• Structured Interviews
– Similar to self administered questionnaire.
• Administer an interview schedule with specific question with mostly forced choice responses.

– Different from self administered questionnaires
• Conversational
– Requires transitional phrases for interviewer – Spoken language

• Can’t require the respondent to remember too much information
– – – – Simplify responses Provide cards with responses Use rating scales Use card sorts for responses

• Interviewer’s Qualities are important

Important Qualities for Interviewer
• • • • • • Suppress judgment and opinions Do not offer information that is not required or requested Be a good listener Establish trust and rapport Know the interview. Use standard technique for interview (ask same questions in same way). • Be committed to completing every interview • Understand how to probe when necessary • Use common sense in difficult situations

Observation Methods: What Can Be Observed?
• Physical Actions – Shopping behavior, response latency, service quality, television viewing habits • Verbal Behaviors – Sales conversations, opinion leadership, tone of voice • Expressive behaviors – Facial expressions, body posture • Spatial Relations and Locations – Traffic patterns, store layout, efficiency • Temporal Patterns – Amount of time spent shopping, service time • Physical Evidence – Amount and type of food consumed, media read

Observation Methods of Primary Data Collection
• Methods include: – Direct observation – Contrived observation (laboratory) – Content Analysis – Physiological measurement – Electronic methods • Greater objectivity – less researcher bias • More accurate – less “response tendency” or “demand effects” • Limited in terms of what can be observed

Focus Groups
• Similar to interview in that a moderator or facilitator interview group or leads discussion. • When to use
– To get a focused reaction of a small group to a specific issue, item, product – To get impressionistic responses about something or someone – To dig deeply into one topic or area – To get background information for other research method
• Explore possible hypotheses • Interpret findings

• Most common in market research and political polling

Designing a Focus Group
• Group Selection and Composition
– Should be between 6-12 members. Ideal size seems to be about 8. – Select individuals or recruit participants who are knowledge about subject, have experiences that are relevant or have an interest in topic. – Consider the characteristics of the group members and the group dynamic of the group. – Offer enticement for participation that do not sway group
• Food and/or drink • Sometimes prizes or awards

Designing a Focus Group
• Select a moderator or group leader
– – – – – Should be good facilitator Should not be judgmental Should be knowledgeable about research problem Should be able to encourage discussion Should establish equality among members and encourage diverse points of view – Should be authoritative enough to keep discussion on track but not so authoritative as to stifle natural flow of conversation but not be too authoritative to as to stifle free expression of ideas

Designing a Focus Group
• Qualities of Selected Environment
– Non-threatening – Comfortable – Convenient – Facilitate conversation and interaction

• Types of questions
– Different types of questions are used for different purposes and are appropriate at different times during a focus group (See p227 in text)

Methods are often thought of as quantitative or qualitative...
Quantitative methods Qualitative methods
Surveys Questionnaires Focus groups

Existing databases

Unstructured interviews
Unstructured observations

Quantitative and Qualitative information
"Not everything that counts can be counted."

5 (Quantity) Happy (Quality) Kids

• Quantitative data collection methods produce numbers. • Qualitative data collection methods produce words. • Quantitative and qualitative each has its strengths and weaknesses. • Quantitative methods are more structured and allow for aggregation and generalization. • Qualitative methods are more open and provide for depth and richness.

What method shall I use?
There is no simple answer There is no ONE best method It all depends…

When choosing methods, consider…
• The purpose of your evaluation − Will the method allow you to gather information that can be analyzed and presented in a way that will be credible and useful to you and others?

• The respondents − What is the most appropriate method, considering how the respondents can best be reached, how they might best respond, literacy, cultural considerations, etc.?

• What kind of data your professionals will find most credible and useful • Resources available. Time, money, and staff to design, implement, and analyze the information. What can you afford? • Type of information you need. Numbers, percents, comparisons, stories, examples, etc.

• Interruptions to program or participants. Which method is likely to be least intrusive? • Advantages and disadvantages of each method. • .The importance of ensuring cultural appropriateness.

Often, it is better to use more than one data collection method.

Why would this be so?

When we use several methods we say we are ‘triangulating’. Triangulation is important in evaluation because we want accurate and trustworthy information.
Triangulation means the use of multiple sources and methods to gain a better understanding. Each source and each method has inherent biases so using more than one source and/or method provides a more accurate picture.

How might you mix sources of information in your evaluation? How might you mix data collection methods to evaluate your program?

Instrument to collect the information
What will you use to actually collect the data… a recording sheet, a questionnaire, a video or audio tape?

The term, “instrument ”, sounds like we are talking about a dental office, a cockpit or an orchestra.
Actually, we use the term “instrument” to mean the tool on which the data is actually recorded: the questionnaire, the recording form, the video or audio tape, for example. If you have selected a survey as your method, you automatically know that you will need a questionnaire. But, if you choose a method such as focus group or interview or observation, think about what you will use for recording the information.

Choices: Timing
When Will Data be Collected? – Before and after the program – At one time – At various times during the course of the program – Continuously through the program – Over time - longitudinally

Reflection time
What is one thing you learned (or had reinforced) from going through this presentation that you hope not to forget? Good luck with your data collection efforts!