There are a lot of different data collection methods out there. Which one is the right one for you? Here are six factors to consider when choosing a data collection method:
1. What type of data do you need?
There are four main types of data: quantitative, qualitative, categorical, and ordinal. Quantitative data is data that can be measured, like height, weight, or IQ. Qualitative data is data that can't be measured, like opinions or feelings. Categorical data is data that can be placed into categories, like gender or eye color. Ordinal data is data that can be ranked, like a person's satisfaction with a product on a scale of 1 to 10.
2. How much data do you need?
The amount of data you need will determine the best method for collecting it. If you only need a few pieces of data, a survey might be the best option. If you need a lot of data, a data collection service might be the better choice.
3. How accurate does the data need to be?
The accuracy of your data will depend on the type of data you're collecting and the method you use to collect it. Surveys are often less accurate than experiments, but they're also less expensive and easier to administer. Experiments or custom software developments are more accurate but can be more expensive and time-consuming.
4. How soon do you need the data?
The speed of data collection will also depend on the method you use. Surveys can usually be administered quickly, but experiments take longer to set up and conduct.
5. Who will be collecting the data?
You'll need to consider who will be collecting the data when choosing a method. If you're going to collect the data yourself, a survey might be the best option. If you're going to hire someone to collect the data, the plethora of other options open themselves up to you.
6. How much do you want to spend?
Finally, you'll need to consider cost when choosing a data collection method. Surveys are usually less expensive than hiring a team to conduct your research, but the cost will depend on the size and complexity of the survey. Experiments can be more expensive, but the cost will depend on the number of participants and the length of the experiment.