Surveys like all other data collection have its advantages and disadvantages. The major noticeable advantages of surveys are time saver as surveys allow to collect a large amount of data in short time, they are less expensive than most of the other type of data collection and they allowed to collect data on wide range of things however surveys are not perfect they also have disadvantages for example accuracy, the response given may not reflect the reality therefore not accurate, and there is no way to know if the participants are reliable.
In the next two sections we will have a closer look on how surveys can use qualitative data (e.g. ask open-ended questions) or quantitative data (e.g. use forced-choice questions) measures however the type of survey to be carried out depends on the target population and the subject under investigation.
Researchers must be precise about their questionnaires as the quality of the data from quantitative research is directly dependent on that. The objectives of quantitative data are to quantify data and generalize results from a sample to the population of interest and also to measure the incidence of various views and opinions in a chosen sample.
The advantages of qualitative data, its methods usually provide quantifiable, reliable data and generalisable to the larger number of population of interest. They can also be represented visually in tables, graphs, charts or histograms.
However there are some weaknesses as well among other things closed question which can be answered with “yes or no”, a single word or a short phrase.
The quantitative data research can be used to determine the scale of satisfied customers for example by disturbing a questionnaire sample to customers (questionnaires are usually easy and quick to answer) and analyse the answers and scale them with 4 or 5 point scales from Very Satisfied, Satisfied, (Neither), Dissatisfied, Very Dissatisfied of course there is more behind that to really determine the satisfaction of customers.
Usually after a quantitative data research searchers often use qualitative research to explore further the findings from quantitative data which are “yes or no” or just a word.
Are you happy with your current ASDA local store?
Interviewers questions are generally vague, they ask the participants open-ended questions which request thinking and reflection thus they are able to express themselves and with their own words and idea, give their opinions, their feelings and perceptions on a particularly topic which might be sensible accordingly their answers as well. For that reason interviewers must be cautious about the ethical and confidentiality issues because open-ended questions involve personal and honest responses. The interviewers must keep the participants’ identity confidential and protected.
Qualitative data can be gained questioning customers, citizens or students (look questions below), or by immersion in a culture (ethnography) in this case the interviewers will probably have to deal with the ethical issues. In quantitative data, the interviewers/ researchers become the instrument of data collection that may have consequences and vary the results depending on who is conducting the research, as consequence the result may be considered as invalid therefore to valid as accurate, the interviewers or researchers must then compare his findings information with similar information from other surveys.
What did you fail on your course?
How do you keep focused on your course?
What are the good things and the less good things about your course?
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