Data Collection Techniques and How To Use Them

Data collection techniques are a method which use to find a solution or analyzing a problem. Following the times and technology, data collection technique keep growing to fulfill people’s need. As the world running, statistics keep changing to make a better life.

In another article, I explain about types of data. Please read it before going further. in general, there are two types of data by the collection process. They are primary and secondary data. These two have different ways of the collecting process.

Before going further into the collection data phase, identify your types of data first. Do you need to do primary collection data or just secondary? Think carefully because it will affect until the end of your research.

data collection is important part of research

Why do we need to know about data collection techniques?

1. In order to get the best result

Not every technique suitable for every case. You need to choose the best one which in accordance with your purpose. Do not forget, remember what is your goal and define every specific thing that supports your research.

2. To minimize the cost.

Every research or data collection should be supported by many supporting elements. One of them is money. I know, to get the fine result, money is obligatory parts. But that is not how statistics work. Every process and technique should be calculated to get the most minimal cost and maximum outcome That is why we should know the data collection technique.

3. To reduce the energy as small as possible

You should prepare your body to face the process. It takes time, strength, and also mental health to finish this duty. If you do it carelessly, you will do the collection data till you burn out. The data collection technique must have to reduce energy and resource as possible to conduct the optimum result.

4. So you do not waste your time

Time is something we should care about. Good research must have limited time and condition so it can portray the real condition or correct prediction.

So you already know that what is the importance of learning about data collection technique. It is not just about doing and presenting data, but also about making an effective and efficient process of it.

why do we need to know about data collection technique

Collection Data Techniques of Secondary Data

Just to remind you, secondary data is available data and scattered in many resources in our life. It could be at financial report, books, magazine, journal, and others.

What we need to do is identify the data we needed and where it comes from. We have to check it carefully because there are a lot of possibilities to collect the data. Recheck what is the sources and how to reach it.

Check possibly data sources like a government official, statistics institution, research institution, non-profit government organization, etc. And, the most important thing, never forget to add the data’s source.

collection data tecnique for primary data

Collection Data Techniques of Primary Data

For research or lecturer, collecting primary is absolutely interesting. There are so much exciting things that we discovered by using primary data. These are the condition why we should use primary data.

1. No latest data available

Research takes limited time and sometimes, secondary data cannot provide what we need. Sometimes, getting secondary data is quite hard because we have to wait. Probably, we can wait, but times will not. So, we need to do other efforts to collect the data by our own self. That’s why we have to know about this method.

2. The available data is not relevant to real condition

Sometimes, data can not portray the real field condition. There are several factors that cause this to happen such as natural disaster, political effect, riot, etc. This kind of condition will 180 degrees change the data. In order to conduct the best result, we have to collect it so it can describe the real condition.

3. There are no similar data before

Research and producing data is an interesting activity. There is no limit on your work. You can blow your creativity as much as you want to build your dream. If you feel that you are doing the newest research, you need to master how to collect primary data.

Basic technique of collecting primary data

Generally, there are two types of collecting data technique. I am sure you are aware of those.

1. Census is collecting data method which the whole population is the subject of research and we will collect their data one by one completely.

2. A survey is collecting data method which just the chosen part of the population will be collected. A survey is an alternative and favorite method of collecting data and doing research. Almost every research in the world conducted by the survey.

There are several differences between survey and census. Each technique has its own unique. You can use it based on your own situation and condition.

Which one do you prefer? Census or Survey? I bet you will choose a survey rather than a census, right? It has a lot of benefit and accurate result.

You have to use proper data collection technique

Data collection techniques

Now, here is the part that you are waiting for. I am sure that there are so much data collection techniques in the world. But I’ll just explain the most and important way so you can pick it as long as you need.

1. Direct Interview

Direct Interview is a long live method that still used from the old time until now. You can do it by directly to the person or by phone call. To get the best and optimum result, you need to design the questionnaire carefully and simply so it will minimize your time when interviewing.

The benefit of the interview if you have a bigger chance to get the data you want because it is unavoidable to be a respondent. You can ask as much as you want and get the real answer from the respondent.

But sometimes, people sick about keep getting an interview. There is so much survey that makes people feel disturbed and reject the interviews. That is the fact, bitter fact. So, you must have good communication skill and also you need to know how to influence people so they want to be the respondent sincerely.

direct interview is popular method

2. Self enumeration method

This is another kind of data collection method. Self enumeration means we asked the respondent to fill in the questionnaire by themselves. This method is suitable for busy respondents such as a big company or big organization.

Sometimes, the respondent has the data but they need time to fill the questionnaire because they have to reopen the old archive or collect it in several departments. Then, we need to leave the questionnaire and wait until they finish it.

Do not forget to design your questionnaire neat and easy to understand so they can fill it easily. Do not forget to leave your contact so they can inform you when they are finished.

You can ask respondent to do self enumeration method

3. Obervations

In observations, we need to pay high attention to the research object and study the object by our self. We need to observe how the object is, how the behavior, how the reaction, and stuffs. Usually, observation methods are used to non-living object or dynamic object such as animal, flower, etc.

To make observations valid, sometimes, there is more than one researcher so they can compare their own results and make a better conclusion.

observation is one of favorite collection data method

4. Focus Group Discussion

Focus group discussion is another data collection technique where some people gathered around and discuss seriously and share their opinions. By doing this, there will be much ideas and information from various people.

Focus group discussion often occurs to discuss and find a solution to new and hot issues like climate change, general election, and stuff. But sometimes, we do it unconsciously in our life. When you have a serious meeting with the CEO or ministry, you are doing a discussion to find a solution.

Focus group discussion is an interesting method

5. Collecting news, document, and other possibly sources

You can do collecting data by collecting news from the newspaper, internet, magazine, medical record, journal, and other useful resources. This is cheaper than the other method. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee the result will be satisfying.

I recommend you to use this method just as a complementary data because the result will be not as good as others.

collecting news and other possible sources is allowed on research


Choosing the right data collection technique is very important for your research.

Each of them can be used in qualitative research and quantitative research.

Do it carefully because it will affect so much aspect of your research. Consider your time, strength, and money so you can pick the best one.

Happy statistics !

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