Data collection is an extremely important process in research because without it you cannot answer the research questions, test hypotheses, make recommendations and conclusions. The decision on which methods of data collection will be used to answer the research problem should be made at the development of the problem. At this point the researcher needs to ask him/herself which method and which instrument will answer the research questions.
Selection of the method of data collection depends on many factors. Among them is the approach of research because the approach determines whether data collected will be numerical, narrative or both.
This lesson is an introduction method. It will differentiate between an instrument and a method, types of data, sources of data and factors to consider when selecting a method of data collection.