Research Tools and Techniques is something that can save time, money, and much more than you think. With the right Information Technology tools, the process can easily become fast and effective compared to what it used to be. The idea of the Information technology services is quite common today due to the many benefits to be afforded by IT services.

It is a smart step to make a research on your topic before you actually start writing or creating a complete website. Because, it could be difficult for you to develop content related to the topic if you don’t really know what this field is all about. In doing a proper research, you will have an idea of what research tools and techniques that are widely used. And then, you can apply those terms in your own website or blog.

What is Data Collection?

Data collection is a methodical process of gathering and analyzing specific information to proffer solutions to relevant questions and evaluate the results. It focuses on finding out all there is to a particular subject matter. Data is collected to be further subjected to hypothesis testing which seeks to explain a phenomenon.

Hypothesis testing eliminates assumptions while making a proposition from the basis of reason.

What Is Research Tools And Techniques

For collectors of data, there is a range of outcomes for which the data is collected. But the key purpose for which data is collected is to put a researcher in a vantage position to make predictions about future probabilities and trends.

The core forms in which data can be collected are primary and secondary data. While the former is collected by a researcher through first-hand sources, the latter is collected by an individual other than the user. 

Types of Data Collection 

Before broaching the subject of the various types of data collection. It is pertinent to note that data collection in itself falls under two broad categories; Primary data collection and secondary data collection.

Primary Data Collection

Primary data collection by definition is the gathering of raw data collected at the source. It is a process of collecting the original data collected by a researcher for a specific research purpose. It could be further analyzed into two segments; qualitative research and quantitative data collection methods. 

  • Qualitative Research Method 

The qualitative research methods of data collection do not involve the collection of data that involves numbers or a need to be deduced through a mathematical calculation, rather it is based on the non-quantifiable elements like the feeling or emotion of the researcher. An example of such a method is an open-ended questionnaire.

What Is Research Tools And Techniques
  • Quantitative Method

Quantitative methods are presented in numbers and require a mathematical calculation to deduce. An example would be the use of a questionnaire with close-ended questions to arrive at figures to be calculated Mathematically. Also, methods of correlation and regression, mean, mode and median.

What Is Research Tools And Techniques

Secondary Data Collection

Secondary data collection, on the other hand, is referred to as the gathering of second-hand data collected by an individual who is not the original user. It is the process of collecting data that is already existing, be it already published books, journals, and/or online portals. In terms of ease, it is much less expensive and easier to collect.

Your choice between Primary data collection and secondary data collection depends on the nature, scope, and area of your research as well as its aims and objectives. 

IMPORTANCE OF DATA COLLECTION

There are a bunch of underlying reasons for collecting data, especially for a researcher. Walking you through them, here are a few reasons; 

  • Integrity of the Research

A key reason for collecting data, be it through quantitative or qualitative methods is to ensure that the integrity of the research question is indeed maintained.

  • Reduce the likelihood of errors

The correct use of appropriate data collection of methods reduces the likelihood of errors consistent with the results. 

  • Decision Making

To minimize the risk of errors in decision-making, it is important that accurate data is collected so that the researcher doesn’t make uninformed decisions. 

  • Save Cost and Time

Data collection saves the researcher time and funds that would otherwise be misspent without a deeper understanding of the topic or subject matter.

  • To support a need for a new idea, change, and/or innovation

To prove the need for a change in the norm or the introduction of new information that will be widely accepted, it is important to collect data as evidence to support these claims.

What is a Data Collection Tool?

Data collection tools refer to the devices/instruments used to collect data, such as a paper questionnaire or computer-assisted interviewing system. Case Studies, Checklists, Interviews, Observation sometimes, and Surveys or Questionnaires are all tools used to collect data.

It is important to decide the tools for data collection because research is carried out in different ways and for different purposes. The objective behind data collection is to capture quality evidence that allows analysis to lead to the formulation of convincing and credible answers to the posed questions.

Tools and Techniques

A tool is a specific, tangible item such as a template or software program, used in performing an activity to produce a product or result.

A technique is a defined systematic procedure to produce one or more outputs, which may also use one or more tools.

Research methods

Types of research

Experiments

People who take part in research involving experiments might be asked to complete various tests to measure their cognitive abilities (e.g. word recall, attention, concentration, reasoning ability etc.) usually verbally, on paper or by computer. The results of different groups are then compared. Participants should not be anxious about performing well but simply do their best. The aim of these tests is not to judge people or measure so-called intelligence, but to look for links between performance and other factors. If computers are used, this has to be done in such a way that no previous knowledge of computers is necessary. So people should not be put off by this either.

The study might include an intervention such as a training programme, some kind of social activity, the introduction of a change in the person’s living environment (e.g. different lighting, background noise, different care routine) or different forms of interaction (e.g. linked to physical contact, conversation, eye contact, interaction time etc.). Often the interaction will be followed by some kind of test (as mentioned above), sometimes before and after the intervention. In other cases, the person may be asked to complete a questionnaire (e.g. about his/her feelings, level of satisfaction or general well-being).

Some studies are just based on one group (within-group design). The researchers might be interested in observing people’s reactions or behaviour before and after a certain intervention (e.g. a training programme). However, in most cases, there are at least two groups (a between-subjects design). One of the groups serves as a control group and is not exposed to the intervention. This is quite similar to the procedure in clinical trials whereby one group does not receive the experimental drug. This enables researchers to compare the two groups and determine the impact of the intervention. Alternatively, the two groups might differ in some important way (e.g. gender, severity of dementia, living at home or in residential care, etc.) and it is that difference that is of interest to the researchers.

Questionnaires

Questionnaires are a good way to obtain information from a large number of people and/or people who may not have the time to attend an interview or take part in experiments. They enable people to take their time, think about it and come back to the questionnaire later. Participants can state their views or feelings privately without worrying about the possible reaction of the researcher. Unfortunately, some people may still be inclined to try to give socially acceptable answers. People should be encouraged to answer the questions as honestly as possible so as to avoid the researchers drawing false conclusions from their study.

Questionnaires typically contain multiple choice questions, attitude scales, closed questions and open-ended questions. The drawback for researchers is that they usually have a fairly low response rate and people do not always answer all the questions and/or do not answer them correctly. Questionnaires can be administered in a number of different ways (e.g. sent by post or as email attachments, posted on Internet sites, handed out personally or administered to captive audience (such as people attending conferences). Researchers may even decide to administer the questionnaire in person which has the advantage of including people who have difficulties reading and writing. In this case, the participant may feel that s/he is taking part in an interview rather than completing a questionnaire as the researcher will be noting down the responses on his/her behalf.

Case studies

Case studies usually involve the detailed study of a particular case (a person or small group). Various methods of data collection and analysis are used but this typically includes observation and interviews and may involve consulting other people and personal or public records. The researchers may be interested in a particular phenomenon (e.g. coping with a diagnosis or a move into residential care) and select one or more individuals in the respective situation on whom to base their case study/studies. Case studies have a very narrow focus which results in detailed descriptive data which is unique to the case(s) studied. Nevertheless, it can be useful in clinical settings and may even challenge existing theories and practices in other domains.

Conclusion

Research Tools and Techniques are used to collect or obtain information about some activity, for some specific purpose. We all use the internet on a daily basis, whenever we want to find something new online. We can choose among different techniques in order to get what we’re looking for.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *