Collecting the Primary data:
In dealing with any real life problem it is often found that data at hand are inadequate, and hence, it becomes necessary to collect data that are appropriate. There are several ways of collecting the appropriate data which differ considerably in context of money costs, time and other resources at the disposal of the researcher.
Primary data can be collected either through experiment or through survey. If the researcher conducts an experiment, he observes some quantitative measurements, or the data, with the help of which he examines the truth contained in his hypothesis. But in the case of a survey, data can be collected by any one or more of the following ways:
(i) By observation: This method implies the collection of information by way of investigator’s own observation, without interviewing the respondents.
(ii) Through personal interview: The investigator follows a rigid procedure and seeks answers to a set of pre-conceived questions through personal interviews.
(iii) Through telephone interviews: This method of collecting information involves contacting the respondents on telephone itself.
(iv) By mailing of questionnaires: The researcher and the respondents do come in contact with each other if this method of survey is adopted. Questionnaires are mailed to the respondents with a request to return after completing the same. Before applying this method, usually a Pilot Study for testing the questionnaire is conduced which reveals the weaknesses.
(v) Through schedules: Under this method the enumerators are appointed and given training. They are provided with schedules containing relevant questions. These enumerators go to respondents with these schedules. Data are collected by filling up the schedules by enumerators on the basis of replies given by respondents.
The researcher should select one of these methods of collecting the data taking into consideration the nature of investigation, objective and scope of the inquiry, financial resources, available time and the desired degree of accuracy.