4 Collecting data
Having decided on the questions you would like to answer and the approach you wish take, you will need to collect some data that will enable you to answer the questions. There are three broad ways in which you can collect data, you can:
- observe people at work
- ask questions (either through survey’s or by talking to people)
- analyse documents.
The diagram in Figure 2 provides an overview of different data collection methods. Each one has implications that you will need to consider, but that is beyond the scope of this unit. The reading list at the end of this unit provides more information about collecting data and how to analyse it.
You will need evidence from several sources of data in order to be confident in your findings. Each method will have advantages and limitations; you need to make sure that you act in such away as to minimise the limitations.
Reflection point: Look at the diagram from Figure 2 and your research questions. What methods of collecting data might be appropriate?