Data is the evaluation resource to infer that whether the desired adjectives are achieved or the program followed was inappropriate. The fate of the research is very much dependent upon the instruments being used for either the quantitative or the qualitative data. The collection of data has a strong association with administering instruments along with data organization for analysis.

The data collecting instruments includes census, sample surveys, administrative collection or registries, questionnaire and personal interview; of which former three are most frequently used.

Census

Census in the most accurate data collection instrument as it includes all the subjects of the population covering all the attributes of the data requirements. The technique however requires high expenditures and considerably very huge time. The census is the most regular and systematic phenomenon for data collection. The census though seen mostly in the context of population censuses but may include other censuses as well including housing census, business census, traffic census and agriculture census. Where sampling is the subset of population, the census involves the universal set of population where each and every element of the population is included.  The main purpose

Sample Surveys

In contrast to census the sample survey, as indicated by the name includes only the sample of population representing the whole population covering its all attributes. Though it consumes less time and money but is not preferred over census because its results are not that much accurate and reliable. The sample surveys provide the shortcut to answer the questions that are applicable to whole population, but there is a chance of biasness while selecting the sample that may render the whole study useless.

Administrative Collection of Registries

Administrative collection is associated to the information of some specific operation, service or the programme. The daily operations of any institution, organization or business associated operations are reported through the business collection or the registries. The administrative registries lack the control and are very rigid system with no flexibly but the data collected in this way is authentic, accurate and time saving as the data entry is done by the employees as a part of their job. Another associated advantage is that there are very less chance of corruption as the team is answerable to the audit section of the company and the data is regularly input as the requirement of the collection instrument.

Questionnaire

In the questionnaire method the respondents are considered for data collection through the series of questions that are structured according to the requirements. This collection instrument is suitable for both statistical and non-statistical analysis. The questionnaires may include closed ended questions with to the point answers or the open ended questions with detailed answers from the respondents. The questionnaires can be sent via mail or handed over directly to the respondents but in the case of mail the respondent may not answer all questions and could make the results inaccurate and unreliable. The method could not be applied on the vast area and has limited attributes as compared to the other instruments.

Personal Interviews

The data collection instrument in which there is a verbal collection of data covering different angles of requirements is referred to as personal interviews. The interviews include a set of structured questions that are asked from the members of poultaion randomly and then the whole scenario regarding the particular population or group os made.

References

• Weimer, J. (ed.) (1995). Research Techniques in Human Engineering. Englewood Cliffs, Prentice Hall publishers.

• Alterman, Hyman. Counting People: The Census in History. Harcourt, Brace & Company 1969.

• Bielenstein, Hans. "Wang Mang, the restoration of the Han dynasty, and Later Han." In The Cambridge History of China, vol. 1, eds. Denis Twitchett and John K. Fairbank, 223-90 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1978).

• Leung, W. C. (2001). How to conduct a survey. StudentBMJ, 9, 143-5.

• Mellenbergh, G.J. (2008). Chapter 10: Tests and Questionnaires: Construction and administration. In H.J. Adèr & G.J. Mellenbergh (Eds.) (with contributions by D.J. Hand), Advising on Research Methods: A consultant’s companion (pp. 211–236). Huizen, The Netherlands: Johannes van Kessel Publishing.