Methods of Data Processing in Research

Data processing is concerned with editing, coding, classifying, tabulating and charting and diagramming research data. The essence of data processing in research is data reduction. Data reduction involves winnowing out the irrelevant from the relevant data and establishing order from chaos and giving shape to a mass of data. Data processing in research  consists of five important  steps. They are:

1. Editing of Data

Editing is the first step in data processing. Editing is the process of examining the data collected in questionnaires/schedules to detect errors and omissions and to see that they are corrected and the schedules are ready for tabulation.… Read the rest

Secondary Data Sources for Research

Secondary data are data that are taken from research works already done by somebody and used for the purpose of the research data collection.  The reason why secondary data are being increasingly used in research is that published statistics are now available covering diverse fields so that an investigator finds required data readily available to him’ in many cases. For certain studies like stock price  behavior, interest and exchange rate scenario, etc. only secondary data are used.

There are two broad categories of secondary data – internal secondary data and external secondary data.

  1. Internal secondary data:  Internal (secondary) data refers to information that already exists within the company in which the research problem arises.
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Pre-Testing Research Data Collection Instruments

The tool or instrument of data collection namely the schedule or the questionnaire should be pre-tested before adopted for data collection on the study. Pre-testing simply means, testing the validity, reliability, practicability and sensitivity of the tool before it is used for actual data collection. The only way to gain assurance that questions are unambiguous is to try them on a selected small group of prospective respondents.

Process of Pre-testing

Pre-testing can be done in parts. Different sub-parts in the main part of the questionnaire/schedule can be differently pre-tested. So a series of small pre-test on different units of the tool can be done.… Read the rest

Using Different Types of Surveys for Data Collection in Research

Surveying means contacting for getting certain information. Survey method is a method of collecting data for research  purpose.  There are personal surveys, mail surveys, telephone surveys and internet surveys. Survey may be sample survey or census survey.

The features of each of surveys are given below:

Personal Survey

Personal survey involves meeting personally every number who has to be surveyed. The features of this method of data collection are as follows.

  • The number of respondents that can be contacted is not very high, as the time taken to contact the respondent, and the time spent on the interview itself is very high in relative terms.
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The Case Method in Research

Case study method is one of the methods of investigation. Originally case method was used in medicine. The physician used to maintain a record of treatment and health conditions of each patient. Each such record pertains to a ‘case’. The peculiarities of each ‘case’ are known as well as generalities of all cases together. The cause-effect relationship is established and exceptions there to are also noted down.

The basic unit of case study is a case a particular one of its kind. It may be a single business unit or a whole group of business units in an area or a single producer or a group of producers or a single consumer or a group of consumers and so on.… Read the rest

Observation Method of Research Data Collection

Observation means the careful and systematic watching of facts as they occur in course of nature. In the strict sense, observation implies more use of the eyes and the ears than the mouth.

Aspects of Observation

Observation involves three processes, i.e. (i) sensation (ii) attention (iii) perception. Sensation is gained through the sense organs which depend upon the physical alertness of the observer. The sense organs are receptive to stimuli and get attracted leading to the first stage in observation. Then comes attention or concentration which is largely a matter of commitment and will-power. Adequate training and experience can make it almost a matter of habit.… Read the rest