Tools & techniques
Improve your data collection
Socialcops have just released an excellent eBook, The Ultimate Guide to Effective Data Collection. It provides short, sharp, and practical advice on designing high quality surveys and data collection techniques. Topics covered include:
- The core elements of survey design
A clear research question, outcomes and indicators are the best base for an effective survey
- 4 types of data collection methods
Learn when you should use observations, questionnaires, interviews and focus group discussions
- Qualitative vs. quantitative research
Master when and how to best use qualitative vs. quantitative research questions
- Choosing your survey questions
Which questions should you ask and, more importantly, which questions you should avoid?
- Choosing the right question type
A good survey question asked in the wrong way will just confuse your results
- Best practices for survey questions
Other tips and tools to help with writing clear, objective questions
- Following the MECE framework
Write “Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive” questions to ensure you get good data
- Closed vs open-ended questions
How do closed-ended questions differ from open-ended questions, and when is each most effective?
- Sampling and sampling size
How to make sure that your sampling error does not invalidate the results of your survey
It won’t revolutionize the world for experienced practitioners, but it will definitely help the average person create surveys and collect data that yields useful and valid results.