In the field of research, data collection forms an eminent portion. The organization carrying out research should critically undertake data collection to ensure the highest possible degree of accuracy (Salkind, 2014). Research helps organizations to make decisions. After carrying out data collection, data are analyzed and interpreted before any conclusion is made.
Step 1: Identify the reasons for data collection
The first step is to know and identify the need for data collection. The step requires one to carry out both internal and external evaluations of an organization or a company. By doing so, it aids in the creation of opportunities for data collection. Upon identification of reasons for data collection, an organization should decide on time and means to collect information from the field (Salkind, 2014).
Equally, the step is important in ensuring that a company realizes its objectives while satisfying its clients. The process of identifying the need for research involves a thorough review of policies, procedures, and practices subjected to workers and clients. If gaps and weaknesses exist, then it creates an opportunity for data collection.
Step2: Select reasons and set objectives
After identification of several reasons and opportunities for data collection, priority is established and goals are set. The step involves choosing one or few critical issues to research. As such, the step assists the organization to be focused on specific issues at a time. Equally, the step enhances efficiency and proper uses of resources.
The organization needs to ask critical questions concerning the identified issues. For instance, an organization needs to establish whether the selected issue can lead to other opportunities (Salkind, 2014). Setting of objectives is essential for each of the selected issue. That is different issue should have different specific goals. Goals may be stated hypothetically concerning certain issues.
Step3: Planning on data collection approaches and methods
The stage is crucial in data collection process as it involves selecting the individuals to be surveyed, sources of data to be utilized, and time and duration of collecting data. The organization’s management may decide on this or they can make use of a consultant.
Approaches and methods to be used depend on organization’s resources, the type of issues, and the purpose of data collection. The stage involves asking and finding answers to various questions. During the initiative, a researcher should know the target group, the sources of data, the group of interest, the geographical locations, and how the data will be collected.
Step 4: Data collection
Data collection is a vital stage in any research. Therefore, those responsible for data collection should be aware of some critical issues concerning the possible challenges and logistics that can be encountered during the process. The stage involves choosing the person to collect data and means to do so.
Similarly, the stage involves the appointment of the committee to steer the project, setting aside resources, and getting the appropriate technology to be adopted during the process. All these ensure that data collection is successful and accurate.
Significance of systematic data collection methods
It is important to maintain the credibility of data collected, whether quantitatively or qualitatively. The researchers should choose the appropriate tools and methods of data collection to minimize errors (Salkind, 2014).
Inaccurate findings are blamed on the inaccuracy of data collection approaches and methods. For instance, inaccurate findings can lead to wastage of an organization’s resources and time. It also affects negatively the decisions of an organization and public policy making. Equally, the above could cause great harm to people or animals on which research is being conducted. Hence, the need to follow systematic steps that guarantee successful data collection.
In conclusion, it should be noted that the main role of data collection is the gathering of information on various topics of interest using well-defined mechanisms. Different fields of research require different methods and approaches of data collection.
Salkind, N. J. (2014). Exploring research (8th ed.).Harlow, Essex: Pearson Education.