Many businesses and organizations need behavioral data to conduct research and reach conclusions. There are many methods of data collection. Generally, quantitative data collection methods are used. They rely on randomly selecting a sample and using a data collection method that suits diverse experiences. This method also provides results that are easy to understand, summarize, generalize and compare.
Some of the most common techniques used in quantitative data collection are explained below in detail.
Quantitative research is structured and clearly planned. There is a standard that has to be followed so that the results achieved can be easily generalized.
Interviews are among the most commonly used techniques in quantitative research. There are various types of interviews including:
- Face to Face Meetings
In this type of interview the researcher is in direct contact with the subject. This allows the researcher to clearly communicate questions because he or she can gauge the subject’s expressions and use words carefully.
- Online Interviews
Thanks to technology, it is now possible to conduct online interviews. Many researchers use applications like Skype for online interviews. Video chatting does not only allow both parties to ask questions and answer them, but they also are very much like face-to-face meetings because both the parties are visible to see each other, given that they have webcams.
- Telephone Interviews
Telephone interviews are highly used due to their advantages. This method is of great use especially when time is of essence.
The methods of preparing questionnaires have changed over the years. However, many new researchers and writers have criticized the use of this technique for several reasons.
Firstly, one has to be very careful in preparing questionnaires. They should be prepared in a way that the respondents are interested in answering truthfully. This is one of the reasons that questioners are kept anonymous.
The second big problem is setting up the questions. They are to be written in a way that every respondent gets the same meaning out of it. If there is any kind of ambiguity or uncertainty then the main purpose of the research is lost because different people will comprehend the question differently hence the results derived will not be bankable.
Paper Pencil Questionnaire
This is a general form of a questionnaire where the responds are provided with a form or questionnaire that they are required to fill with the use of a pen or a pencil. Many consider this technique an orthodox method now; however, it is still being heavily used in different sectors.
Web Based Questionnaires
This is a quickly growing methodology. It is being used in various industries for different purposes. It is considered an easy and time saving job to prepare questionnaires on a computer and make them available on the internet. This way a great number of people can take part in a research.
These are some of the most commonly used methods. The best practice is to choose one carefully keeping in mind your sample and requirements.