Data collection is a process of gathering information from all the relevant sources to find a solution to the research problem. It helps to evaluate the outcome of the problem. The data collection methods allow a person to conclude an answer to the relevant question. Once the data is collected, it is necessary to undergo the data organization process.
Data can be classified into two types, namely primary data and secondary data. The primary importance of data collection in any research or business process is that it helps to determine many important things about the company, particularly the performance. So, the data collection process plays an important role in all the streams. Depending on the type of data, the data collection method is divided into 2 categories namely:
1. Primary Data Collection Methods: Primary data or raw data is a type of information that is obtained directly from the first-hand source through experiments, surveys, or observations. The primary data collection method is further classified into two types. They are
- Quantitative Data Collection: It is based on mathematical calculations using various formats like close-ended questions, correlation, regression methods, and mean median or mode measures. This method is cheaper than qualitative data collection methods and it can be applied in a short duration of time.
- Qualitative Data Collection Methods: It does not involve any mathematical calculations. This method is closely associated with elements that are not quantifiable. This qualitative data collection method includes interviews, questionnaires, observations, case studies, etc. There are several methods to collect this type of data.
2. Secondary Data Collection Method: Secondary data is data collected by someone other than the actual user. It means that the information is already available, and someone analyses it. The secondary data includes magazines, newspapers, books, journals, etc. It may publish data or unpublished data.
Published data are available in various resources including:
- Government publications
- Public records
- Historical and statistical documents
- Business documents
- Technical and trade journals
Unpublished data includes:
- Unpublished biographies, etc.