What are the main data collection methods?
There are many different options in terms of how you go about collecting data for your study. However, these options can be grouped into the following types:
- Interviews (which can be unstructured, semi-structured or structured)
Focus groups and group interviews
Surveys (online or physical surveys)
Documents and records
The choice of which data collection method to use depends on your overall research aims and objectives, as well as practicalities and resource constraints. For example, if your research is exploratory in nature, qualitative methods such as interviews and focus groups would likely be a good fit. Conversely, if your research aims to measure specific variables or test hypotheses, large-scale surveys that produce large volumes of numerical data would likely be a better fit.