goal of data collection is to acquire quality information that allows
analysis to lead to the formulation of convincing and credible
solutions to the questions that have been posed. The choice of the
methods for collecting data depends upon the variables to be
measured, the source and the resources available. The method to be
employed is determined by the data collection strategy, the type of
variable, the accuracy required, the collection point and the skill
of the enumerator. Data collection should be conducted at intervals
sufficiently frequent for the management purpose. Data is collected
from several sources to crosscheck for errors. There are strong links
between categories of data, where they can be obtained and the
methods, which are available for their collection. Some main data
collection methods are:
Registers and licenses are particularly valuable for a complete
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Forms which are completed and returned by respondents. It is an
inexpensive scheme that is useful where literacy rates are high and
respondents are cooperative.
Forms which are completed through an interview with the respondent.
Although they’re more expensive than questionnaires, they are
better suited for more complex questions, low literacy or less
observations: Making direct measurements is the most accurate method
for many variables but it is often expensive.
It is the main alternative to making direct measurements. Reporting
requires literacy and cooperation but can be backed up by a legal
requirement and direct measurements.
of the field of study or priority for defining data, accurate data
collection is necessary to maintain the integrity of the research. A
formal data collection process is necessary as it assures that the
data so gathered is both defined and accurate and that subsequent
decisions based on arguments embodied in the results are valid.
consumer data is very pivotal to the success of any going concern
organization to remain competitive and ahead of the pack, both
domestically and internationally. Apart from the underlying data
collection methods for assembling consumer data, there are some other
tactics used by the big firms in accumulating consumer data, some of
which is seized without their consent. Below are some techniques used
keeping in mind the above tactics:
Firms use loyalty cards to influence greed from consumers in the
face of rewarding them with shopping bonuses in terms of discount
coupons, vouchers etc. That said, customers should be aware that
each time they use loyalty or credit cards, their purchase data is
being stored and tracked to identify and understand their shopping
pattern, hence creating detailed customer profiles that can be sold
to advertisers and other businesses.
Even online gamers are not exempt from big data cluster. The
constant web connection of devices allows game developers to access
large amounts of data instantaneously, even if the game is
single-player. Every time a user faces difficulty in clearing a
particular level or gaining a particular bonus, they make an in-app
purchase, or they install or delete the game, play for a long
stretch or give up after few minutes, all this information is
tracked and stored.
Another interesting source of big data is what can be visible from
the sky. With the evolution of Google Earth®
and Google Maps®,
satellite data is now publicly available. This allows ingenious
analytics professionals to develop surprisingly complete pictures of
certain areas and even begin to understand the variety of people who
live and work in those locations.
Human resource departments use big data to profile their employees
and quantify workplace performance. Some data collected to create
employee profiles are:
Amount of time workers spend on their computers.
The time period in a day when employees appear most active at work.
The time when employees arrive at the workplace.
Social media sites are another large providers of big data. Social
media users often willingly provide insights into their personal
lives to such services, and Terms of Service agreements typically
allow sites the right to store and use this information as they see
fit. However, big data analytics can also be used to document which
features users agree to disable, which posts they delete and how
often they log on into their social media profile at different times
during a day. This information can be used to create thorough
profiles of users’ habits and discover what information is
important to them.