Sampling is a very important step in research process. It provides input for the entire process. It is also worthy to note that sampling is among the most complicated steps in research. This is because an output of every research depends entirely on its input. Researchers need to invest a lot of time and other resources in sampling. It is crucial in ensuring that they maintain quality, timeliness and cost-effectiveness. In sampling, the wrong sample gives in wrong results i.e. garbage in garbage out. Therefore, sampling is the best area to begin, when one needs the best results.
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Design is also important in the entire research process. Therefore, researchers must have the required factors to consider in sampling design. To begin with, one has to define the type of universe where to carry out the study. The universe can be either finite or infinite. In a finite universe, one considers a known amount of entities such as the entire population in a city. In an infinite universe, a researcher has no idea of the number of entities present.
Secondly, a sampling unit is crucial to keep in mind. This unit forms one item in a study. For instance, this unit can be geographical like a state or province. This is important in knowing the exact requirement in that process. It helps in estimating the effort involved in research.
Establishing the size of a sample is another important aspect in sampling. This is a number of items one will select from the universe to constitute a sample. The establishment process depends on the universe. It is advisable to select a larger size of a sample if the universe is large. Consequently, select a smaller sample if the selected universe has just a few items. The cost estimation will be helpful to consider in establishing the size of the sample.
Finally, one needs to consider the parameters of interest. This is the specific feature a research studies. Therefore, the process differs depending on this feature. Other factors to play in mind include budgetary constraints. This constraint includes the costs for collecting data. There is also the cost of incorrect inference resulting from data.
When preparing for data collection and analysis, one should consider several factors. One needs to know the requirements and the type of audience he/she will face. The climatic conditions of the region are also very crucial. These help a researcher to prepare enough so that they get comfortable in their activities. Depending on the type of data collection, one needs to understand the area and methods most suitable for their research.
One can use qualitative or quantitative analysis depending on what they deem to be important. The entire collection and analysis process depends on such basic factors as cost and knowledge. Different data collection methods such as questionnaire, interviews, etc. differ in effort and cost. Therefore, it is important to consider this.
Analysis depends on the available analysis tools, the knowledge of the researcher and the cost. The tasks involved in research process are crucial in the entire process. The inputs may differ from the ideas generated and those observed from the environment. The initial ideas are nothing if we do not put them into production. A person needs to convert them into worthy research outputs. These ideas need publishing. This will highlight the major findings that are useful afterwards.
To conclude, the research process is entirely dependent on sampling, analysis and design. In all these processes, the outcome should be quality, timely and cost effective. To ensure this, one needs to put a lot of effort in sampling, analysis and design.