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Module V
 Data can be defined as the quantitative or qualitative values of a variable.

 Data is thought to be the basic unit of information from which other analysis
can be done.

 Data can be numbers, images, words, figures, facts or ideas.

 Data in itself cannot be understood and to get information from the data,
one must interpret it into meaningful information.

 There are various methods of interpreting data.

 Data sources are broadly classified into primary and secondary data.
Quantitative and Qualitative Data

 Quantitative Data - are information which can be counted or

expressed in numerical values.
 Ex:age, grades, income, test score, number of children, level of
satisfaction, amount of sales, length of service, etc.

 Qualitative Data - These are descriptive information which has

generally has no numerical values.
 Ex:attitude or perception towards something, a person’s experiences,
one’s idea about certain concepts, situation, or phenomenon like drug
abuse , family planning, Justice system, etc.
When to use Quantitative and Qualitative Data

Quantitative Qualitative

 want to conduct statistical  want narrative or in-depth

analysis. information.
 want to be precise.  are not sure what you are able
 know what you want to measure. to measure.
 want to cover a large group.  do not need to quantify the
Primary Data
 Primary data means original data that has been
collected by the researcher specially for the purpose
in mind.
 It means the researcher has collected the data from
the original source first hand.
 Primary data is unpublished data and is relatively
more reliable, authentic and objective.
 Primary data is not changed or altered; therefore its
validity is relatively greater than secondary data.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Primary Data

Advantages Disadvantages

 Data interpretation is better.  High Cost.

 Targeted Issues are addressed.  Time Consuming.
 Efficient Spending for  Inaccurate Feed-backs.
Information.  More number of resources is
 Addresses Specific Research required.
 Greater Control.
 Proprietary Issues.
Secondary Data
 Secondary data is the data that has been already collected by and readily
available from other sources.

 When we use statistical method with primary data from another purpose
for our purpose we refer to it as secondary data. It means that one
purpose's primary data is another purpose's secondary data. So that
secondary data is data that is being reused. Such data are more quickly
obtainable than the primary data.
Sources of Secondary Data
 Published printed source
 Books
 Journals/periodicals
 Magazines/Newspapers
 Published Electronic Sources
 e-journals
 General websites
 Weblogs
 Unpublished Personal Records
 Diaries
 Letters
 Government Records
 Census Data/population statistics:
 Health records
 Educational institutes records
Advantages and Disadvantages of Secondary

Advantages Disadvantages
 Inexpensive.  Incomplete information.
 Easily accessible.
 Genuineness.
 Immediately available.
 Will provide essential background  Sometimes expensive to obtain.
and help to clarify or refine
research problem – essential for
literature review.
 Secondary data sources will
provide research method
 Will also alert the researcher to
any potential difficulties.
Characteristics of Good Data

 Is the data relevant?

 Is the data credible?
 Is the data valid?
 Is the data reliable?
Data Collection Methods
 Survey Method
 Interviews
 Observation method
 Experimentation
Survey Method
 Surveying involves gathering information from
individuals using a questionnaire.
 Surveys can reach a large number of respondents.
 It can generate standardized, quantifiable, empirical data
as well as some qualitative data.
 It offers confidentiality/anonymity.

 Designing survey instruments capable of generating

credible data, however, can be difficult.
Types and Construction of Surveys
 Surveys can be
 descriptive or explanatory
 involve entire populations or samples of populations
 capture a moment or map trends
 can be administered in a number of ways

 Survey construction involves

 formulating questions and response categories
 writing up background information and instruction
 working through organization and length
 determining layout and design
Advantages and Disadvantages of Questionnaires

Advantages Disadvantages
 Practical  Is argued to be inadequate to understand some
 Large amounts of information can be collected forms of information - i.e. changes of emotions,
behaviour, feelings etc.
from a large number of people in a relatively
cost effective way  There is no way to tell how truthful a
respondent is being
 Can be carried out by the researcher or by any
number of people with limited affect to its  There is no way of telling how much thought a
respondent has put in
validity and reliability
 The results of the questionnaires can usually be  The respondent may be forgetful or not thinking
within the full context of the situation
quickly and easily quantified by either a
researcher or through the use of a software  People may read differently into each question
and therefore reply based on their own
package interpretation of the question - i.e. what is
 Can be analysed more 'scientifically' and 'good' to someone may be 'poor' to someone
objectively than other forms of research else, therefore there is a level of subjectivity
 When data has been quantified, it can be used that is not acknowledged
to compare and contrast other research and  There is a level of researcher imposition,
may be used to measure change meaning that when developing the
questionnaire, the researcher is making their
 Positivists believe that quantitative data can be own decisions and assumptions as to what is
used to create new theories and / or test and is not important...therefore they may be
existing hypotheses missing something that is of importance
 Interviewing involves asking respondents a series of open
ended questions.
 Interviews can generate both standardized quantifiable data,
and more in-depth qualitative data.
 However, the complexities of people and the complexities of
communication can create many opportunities for
miscommunication and misinterpretation.
Types of Interview
 Interviews can range from
 formal to informal
 structured to unstructured

 can be one on one or involve groups

How to Conduct Interviews
 When conducting your interviews you will need to
 question, prompt, and probe in ways that help you
gather rich data
 actively listen and make sense of what is being said

 manage the overall process

Observation Method
 Observation relies on the researchers’ ability to gather data
though their senses - and allows researchers to document
actual behaviour rather than responses related to behaviour.

 However, the person in observation can act differently when

asked and observations can be tainted by a researcher’s
world view.
Types of Observation
 Observation can range from
 non-participant to participant
 candid to covert

 from structured to unstructured

The Observation Process
 The observation process is sometimes treated casually,
 is a method that needs to be treated as rigorously as any
 The process should include planning, observing, recording,
reflecting, and authenticating
 Experimentation explores cause and effect relationships by manipulating
independent variables in order to see if there is a corresponding effect on
a dependent variable.

 Pure experimentation requires both a controlled environment and the use of

a randomly assigned control group. This can be difficult to achieve in human
centred experiments conducted in the real world.

 There are many experiments that can only be carried out in the messy
uncontrolled environments of the real-world, so the search for cause and
effect will require tradeoffs between real-world contexts and a controlled
Unobtrusive Measure

 Unobtrusive measures are measures that don't require the

researcher to intrude in the research context. Here the subject
does not know he/she is being observed.
 Unobtrusive methods are ‘non-reactive’ and capitalize on existing data

 Researchers need to work through data not expressly generated for

their proposes that may contain biases
Unobtrusive Method
 Unobtrusive methods include
 the exploration of official data and records
 corporate data

 personal records

 the media

 the arts

 social artefacts
Focus Groups
 Focus groups are a data collection method. Data is collected
through a semi-structured group interview process.

 Focus groups are generally used to collect data on a specific topic.

 A focus group typically consists of a small number of participants,

usually around six to 12, from within a company's proposed target

 The participants are brought together and led through discussions of

certain planned topics by a moderator.