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Right Research Data

How to Gather the Right Research Data for Thesis Research?

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Data collection is a fundamental step in the case of every research study. A human being collects data all his life through observation and experiences. But he can’t write a thesis based on that data. Why is this so? Undoubtedly, that is data, but it is not the right data for thesis research. Gathering the right research data is a challenging task. It’s not because you won’t find the correct data, but because thesis research is a hectic task. It demands tons of information, loads of graphs, and charts for solving a problem. Thus, there must be some proper techniques for gathering the research data. Luckily, those techniques exist, and today’s article will discuss all those methods one by one.

Gathering the Right Research Data

It’s evident that data is a fundamental part of all kinds of research. Now you need to understand how to collect the right research data. Gathering the right data will pave the way for completing your thesis. Data collection methods are broadly categorised into two main categories. A brief description of the main categories and their subtypes is as follows;

1.      Primary data collection methods

The first main category relates to the use of primary techniques. Primary data collection means collecting data directly from the sources. The researcher interacts directly with the variables and gathers the required data in this domain. It can be subdivided into quantitative, and qualitative primary data based on further subdivisions.

Primary quantitative data consists of numbers and figures that have been collected directly from respondents. This data is objective in nature. Quantitative data collection methods are further subdivided into the following two aspects;

  • Surveys
  • Experimentation

On the other hand, primary qualitative data comprises words and statements. In this type of data collection method, respondents answer questions in the form of descriptive expressions. There are also further two types of this right research data collection method. These are as follows;

  • Observation
  • Interviews

Surveys

Conducting surveys yields the best possible results for your research. This is because it directly collects opinions and facts/figures on an issue. The general public or respondents give their unbiased review, which is the beauty of this research method. Surveys can be either structured or unstructured. We won’t go into too much detail regarding this. But we can highlight the fact that surveys are considered the best quantitative data collection method. A reason for this is the fact that they provide the researcher with a clear, and concise picture of what the commoners think. However, if you are unable to create surveys on your own, you can hire dissertation writing services to get your surveys done.

Experimentation

Experimentation is yet another immensely useful tool for gathering the right research data. Most students of engineering, and science use this method. They conduct experiments on different research variables in the labs of their universities or research institutes. In this method, the chances of error are greater unless the experiment is performed with the utmost care. The researcher also has to consider all the engineering standards and practices while conducting research in this domain.

Observation

As described earlier, every human collects data through his five senses. He collects data and keeps that data with him. Observation becomes a method of gathering the right research data when documented. But to document the observation, some prior guidelines should be kept in mind. The factor to be considered while observing things should be defined well before the research. This way, it becomes a method of collecting data for a thesis. The students of psychology and sociology mostly use this method.

Interviews

The second primary qualitative research method is that of the interview. Interviews are one on one conversations between two people. They can happen in the setting of a larger population as well. Though the interviews conducted in a larger setting are called focus groups. During an interview, the researcher collects data related to the respondent’s opinions about the issue. After using this right research data collection technique, the researcher then analyses all the responses and concludes accordingly.

2.      Secondary data collection methods

Secondary data is the data collected through secondary sources. The researcher doesn’t directly interact with the respondents in this case. Instead, he collects data from multiple other sources, including books, news articles, and journals. Secondary data collection methods are further subdivided into two types. Quantitative secondary methods gather the objective data. It contains information pertaining to facts and figures. For example, in a news article, there is news that 90% of people in Africa sleep without dinner. Here 90% is the figure.

In contrast, the other type is that of qualitative research data. This data comprises expressions and statements on a particular issue. For example, in response to 90% poverty, the foreign minister of a country gives his remarks. Those remarks and comments fall in the domain of qualitative data.

Web pages

Web pages contain tons of information on different topics. Sometimes the information is properly cited to its source, but sometimes it is not. Taking data from web pages that don’t have proper citations is always risky. This is because many websites focus on simply earning money. So you should be careful about those websites because you will incorporate that data into your thesis research. Thus, in a thesis research context, you must use the right research data collection data technique.

Books, Journals

Collecting research data from books and journals is a healthy practice. This particular secondary data collection technique can help you in writing an excellent literature review. Books and journals allow you to look at what has already been done in your field of study. Every thesis contains a literature review of the previous research. Thus, these books, research articles, and journals help you in collecting the right research data.

Official Reports

Official reports are also an authentic research data collection technique. The World Health Organisation (WHO) or United Nations’ reports on human rights/diseases contain original data. For example, more and more research is taking place on the post-COVID effects nowadays. Undoubtedly, you’ll need data related to COVID deaths and recoveries, as well as the state of economies during these times. Where can you get all this data? The answer to this is pretty straightforward, as it is found in the reading of such official reports.

Conclusion

Writing a good thesis starts with gathering the right research data. As a researcher, you should devote ample time to the research of credible sources, and the collection of relevant information. The methods mentioned above are the ones that are most frequently used in the context of research. There are also other methods available on the internet that you can look up, and use as per your need. You might also like to read about the data areas of your needs.

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