The most popular methods of collecting data for research are;
- Surveys and questionnaires
Surveys and questionnaires are very common methods of collecting data. They can be a great way of gaining a lot of information in a fairly short amount of time. Normally people will go for multiple choice or one word answers so that the recipient of the survey or questionnaire will be able to quickly give you a lot of information. Surveys and questionnaires can also be posted or emailed to people to do in their own time which can be an advantage in the busy world we live in.
Observation is another useful method to collecting a lot of data. It also means you are not reliant on people having to give you the information and their time. Observation research can be used to measure things such as traffic or foot fall of a business. You can simply count how many cars or people pass by in a certain amount of time.
Interviews can give you more detailed data and can be ideal to scratch beneath the surface of an issue. Although fairly time consuming and not always completely relevant (there may be various parts of an interview that are never used), it is still a useful method of research.
- Tests and experiments
Tests and experiments are another great way of collecting data. This is used a lot in subjects such as science and psychology where they will conduct experiments with a group of people and then analyze the data they gather.