Quantitative and Qualitative Design Affiliation: Observations Observation is a method of collecting data either by people or by other means, for example electronic means. this a method which is mostly concerned with watching what people do and analyzing their activities after you have completed your observation if at all your observation involves people, for instance. Observation is a more preferable method of collecting data in the field since it involves getting the factual information direct from the audience being observed. However, the most common type of observation is the participant or non- participant observation. Participant observation requires the researcher to mingle with the audience so that he can observe from the inside what happens in the community, for example. On the other hand, non- participant observation requires the researcher to be a bit far from the community to observe them in a distance where the audience may not have an idea that they are being watched.
Interviews are another method of collecting data mainly involves an interviewer and an interviewee. Interviews require the researcher meeting the audience or the respondent face to face at an agreed place and time so that he can conduct the interview between him (researcher) and the respondent. Questions are prepared prior to the meeting and a copy sent to the interviewee so that he can prepare well and soon enough how to answer in the questions directed to him during the session.
This is another appropriate method of collecting data and it involves the researcher having to prepare a document or a list of questions which he is supposed to distribute to his respondents so that they can give their feedback in writing on the questionnaires or in answering the questions asked in those questionnaires. Questionnaires can either be open or closed. In open questionnaires, the respondent has the freedom to note down his expressions on the document provided whereas in the closed questionnaires, the respondent is restricted only to the answers provided in the questionnaires and only has the freedom to choose either one of them.
Challenges when collecting quantitative data
One of the challenges in collecting quantitative data is that the researcher can record wrong numbers during the documentation of his research. For example, instead of recording thirty respondents, he may make a mistake and record ten respondents.
The other challenge that researchers may encounter in collecting quantitative data is limited resources. Some quantitative data requires robust and expensive equipment so as to analyze the data appropriately and lack of enough resources such as money to purchase this equipment can be a very big challenge.
However, loss of data in the field is another challenge that exists in the process of gathering quantitative data. Researchers find out that some or all of the data collected somehow either by accident or other means got lost after the research or survey was conducted. This is normally a very big challenge since the research becomes useless when the collected data go missing or make the researcher(s) carry out the same research all over again which is wastage of time and money as well.
Another challenge that exists when collecting quantitative data is wrong sampling by the researchers. When it comes to the various audiences, the researchers should always know the best type of samples they should use because the number of people in different areas differs and so should the samples used. However, some researchers ignore this fact and end up with wrong data about the respondents leading to wrong analysis and also wrong conclusions and recommendations.
Challenges when collecting qualitative data
One of the challenges that exist when collecting qualitative data is language barrier. This happens mostly when researchers go to carry out a survey in a certain area or region whereby no researcher understands the local language and no residence or respondent understands the language of the researchers. This creates a very big challenge in communication between the two parties.
during observation method, for example, if the researcher is non- participant and the audience discovers or realizes that they are being watched and their activities being documented, they tend to pretend to do what they do not do in their day to day activities. This creates a very big challenge to the researchers since they observe and record information which is not factual as it would have been if the audience had no idea that they were being watched.
Time is another challenge when it comes to collecting qualitative data. Sometimes, the time taken by respondents to respond is too long, for example, when it comes to the use of questionnaires as a method of collecting data. As the respondents take too much time, it delays the researchers in their documentation and also their analysis of the survey.
Geographical location of the regions under study is also another big challenge when it comes to collecting qualitative data. some of the regions that researchers are required to go to so as to carry out their study are very far and in some cases, the infrastructure of that area is so poor and this becomes so difficult for the researchers to carry out their research effectively.
Violence is another challenge that exists when it comes to collecting qualitative data. There are some areas where the researchers go to carry out their study and find that the residents are very violent and none of them is hospitable to them. This becomes a very big problem to the researchers because they cannot carry out their study if at all the community cannot welcome them.
Creswell, J. W. (2003). Research design: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method approaches (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.
Creswell, J. W., amp. Clark, V. L. (2007). Designing and conducting mixed methods research. Thousand Oaks, Calif.: SAGE Publications.