Exploring Different Data Collection Methods Essay

4121 words - 17 pages

Honolulu University

2015
Exploring Different Data Collection Methods
Statistical Methods in Business & Economics (BUS405)
Ching Sum Jessie Ha (80600402)

Honolulu University

2015
Exploring Different Data Collection Methods
Statistical Methods in Business & Economics (BUS405)
Ching Sum Jessie Ha (80600402)

Introduction
Data is collected to learn the effectiveness of a particular tool in preventing defects or to look into the cause of a particular defect (Burrill, Ledolter, p.381). Data removes the trepidation and uncertainty of an unknown element. One reason for collecting data is to gain an understanding of the data by organizing and graphing the individual values ...view middle of the document...

Differences between quantitative and qualitative research and their application
Research is a systematic investigation that aims to generate knowledge about a particular phenomenon. However, the nature of this knowledge varies and reflects your study objectives. Some study objectives seek to make standardized and systematic comparisons, others seek to study a phenomenon or situation in detail. These different intentions require different approaches and methods, which are typically categorized as either quantitative or qualitative.
I. Quantitative Research
Quantitative research provides quantified answers to research problems and is commonly associated with positivistic (objectively measurable), experimental research (Pope, Mays, 1995). Quantitative research typically explores specific and clearly defined questions that examine the relationship between two events, or occurrences, where the second event is a consequence of the first event, e.g. ‘What impact did the program have on children’s school performance?’ To test the causality or link between the program and children’s school performance, quantitative researchers will seek to maintain a level of control of the different variables that may influence the relationship between events and recruit respondents randomly.
Quantitative approaches address the ‘what’ of the program. They use a systematic standardized approach and employ methods such as surveys (Hawe, Degeling, Hall, 1990) and ask questions such as ‘What activities did the program run?’ or ‘What skills do staffs need to implement the program effectively?’ Quantitative approaches are cheaper to implement, are standardized so comparisons can be easily made and the size of the effect can usually be measured. Data gathered through surveys and questionnaires that are carefully developed and structured provide you with numerical data that can be explored statistically and yield a result that can be generalized to some larger population. However, quantitative approaches are limited in their capacity for the investigation and explanation of similarities and unexpected differences (Hawe, Degeling, Hall, 1990). It is important to note that for peer-based programs, quantitative data collection approaches often prove to be difficult to implement for agencies as lack of necessary resources to ensure rigorous implementation of surveys and frequently experienced low participation and loss to follow up rates.
II. Qualitative Research
Qualitative research does not seek to provide quantified answers to research questions and tends to be associated with more naturalistic (i.e. research conducted in more 'natural settings', such as at home or work, as opposed to in a laboratory) types of research (Pope, Mays, 1995). Research following a qualitative approach is exploratory and seeks to explain ‘how’ and ‘why’ a particular phenomenon, or program, operates as it does in a particular context. As such, qualitative research often investigates,...

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