Data collection can be divided into two categories – secondary and primary.
Secondary data collection
Secondary data is a type of data that has already been published in books, newspapers, magazines, journals, online portals etc. There is an abundance of data available in these sources about your research area in business studies, regardless of the nature of the research area. Therefore, application of appropriate set of criteria to select secondary data to be used in the study plays an important role in terms of increasing the levels of research validity and reliability.
These criteria include, but not limited to date of publication, credential of the author, reliability of the source, quality of discussions, depth of analyses, extent of contribution of the text to the development of the research area etc. Secondary data collection is discussed in greater depth in Literature Review chapter.
Primary Data Collection
Primary data collection methods can be divided into two groups: quantitative and qualitative.
Quantitative data collection methods are based in mathematical calculations in various formats. Methods of quantitative data collection and analysis include questionnaires with closed-ended questions, methods of correlation and regression, mean, mode and median and others.
Qualitative research methods, on the contrary, do not involve numbers or mathematical calculations. Qualitative research is closely associated with words, sounds, feeling, emotions, colors and other elements that are non-quantifiable.
Qualitative studies aim to ensure greater level of depth of understanding and qualitative data collection methods include interviews, questionnaires with open-ended questions, focus groups, observation, game or role-playing, case studies etc. Your choice between quantitative or qualitative methods of data collection depends on the area of your research and the nature of research aims and objectives.
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