According to TeacherVision, the purpose of collecting data is to answer questions in which the answers are not immediately obvious. Data collection is particularly important in the fields of scientific research and business management.
Accurate data collection is important as it helps to ensure the integrity of research. It gives researchers the ability to answer research questions and makes it easier for other researchers to repeat and validate the study. Collecting data is also useful for describing social or physical phenomena, as well as identifying questions requiring further investigation.
The method of data collection used depends primarily on the nature of the investigation and the questions being investigated. The two main data collection methods are quantitative and qualitative data collection. The former relies on random sampling and structured data collection instruments to produce results that are easy to summarize, compare and generalize. Qualitative data collection methods are used to clarify quantitative evaluation findings and strengthen the design of survey questionnaires and interview questions when appropriate.
Following data collection, a researcher organizes the collected data into a suitable format for analysis. During the analysis stage, the researcher examines the relationships, pattern and trends in the data to develop conclusions about the research.