The Four Data Collection Methods

Making a business decision requires understanding all of the relevant information to ensure you make an informed decision.  Data is the backbone to informed decision making.  When collecting data, it is important to understand that there are actually four different collection methods: observing, surveying, interviewing, and conducting focus group sessions.

Each data collection method can be effective in many technology environments if deployed properly.  Picking the right data collection method is crucial to the success of any project.  However, depending on your field and the type of information you are seeking, one method may have more impact than another.  For example, when attempting to collect data about how monkeys behave in their natural habitat, the best method would be observation as these monkeys would not be able to participate in surveys, interviews, or focus groups.

There are also cases where the best solution can be a combination of methods.  For example, when attempting to improve the IoT network and Cognitive analytic engine in a manufacturing plant, a firm may want to deploy multiple tactics, as any of the four collection methods can be applied here.  Each method comes with its pros and cons, but combining multiple methods can help ensure that all of the requisite data is collected effectively.  Observing the daily operations of the factory as well as the data you receive from IoT devices, and conducting a focus group session with the firm’s Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) could provide rather insightful data needed to make a big decision regarding the plant.

Ultimately, the data that you collect serves as the support for your decision.  Therefore, it is wise to take your time collecting data through the most effective means available.

Do you prefer one collection method over another?  Or do you believe that data collection is more efficient when combining methods?  What is the biggest roadblock that you have faced when attempting to collect data?  Share your answers below!

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Initial source:

4 Data Collection Techniques: Which One’s Right for You?

Post by Paul Beninca

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