Essay Sample on Strengths and Weaknesses of Data Collection Methods

Published: 2023-01-17
Essay Sample on Strengths and Weaknesses of Data Collection Methods
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  Project management Data analysis Statistics Case study
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1302 words
11 min read

Researching at advanced levels requires experimental evidence to support the analogies forwarded by the researchers. The data collection method of any scientific study plays an essential role to provide proof of the underlying theory to support the proposed hypothesis. Therefore, presenting reliable, consistent, and correct data determines the usefulness of evidence collected concerning the ongoing investigation. There are various methods of data collection methods used by researchers to facilitate the process of information gathering. Some of them include the use of interviews, questionnaires, surveys, and personal observation. The approach to data collection adopted in a particular study depends on the needs and circumstances of that study. Hence, each method is designed to ensure that the evidence collected is representative of the phenomenon under investigation, is reliable, and can be independently replicated to achieve similar or related findings. As a result, this essay shall analyze the merits and demerits of selected data assortment techniques in authentic platform estimation.

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In management research projects, surveys refer to the method of data collection which collect information from a sample of a large number of potential respondents. The technique is useful where data should be gathered from a large number of people scattered in a broad geographical location. It is accompanied by other instrumentation tools like questionnaires to guide the respondent's replies. In one study, researchers intended to evaluate information literacy and perceptions about web-enhanced approaches in a university setting (Creedy et al., 2007, May). The study conducted an Australian survey with a sample of 170 respondents participating in the process. In this particular study, the survey includes a powerful tool because it enabled researchers to gather information from a large number of people within a short time.

The advent of online surveys enhances the strengths of using a survey to the respondents. However, studies demonstrate that surveys are sometimes weak methods of data collection because they are not flexible and based on a single instrument of collecting data (Enander et al., 2007). The samples are always standardized hence difficult to inquire about specific information about a particular participant. This weakness can be corrected during a follow-up study by rephrasing the question to investigate the evidence from a particular area.

Experiment and Observation

These two methods go hand in hand during a research study to provide researchers with the first-hand experience with the issue under investigation. Development of hypothesis at an advanced level demands concrete evidence about the practicability of the phenomenon under study. As a result, the researchers conducted a quasi-experiment to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed methods to overcome the underlying problem that demystifies the assertion by observing and evaluating the progress made during the management of weight process (Muckle, 2007). The experiment aims to reveal the appropriate intervention programs which can help an individual achieve self-management programs. The findings revealed that the intervention helped reduce the BMI rate of the participants. In this case, experimentation and observation confirm that the proposed intervention mechanism work to solve the existing problem. Therefore, testing and observation present a robust approach to proof that the hypothesis can solve a problem existing in society.

On the other hand, experimentation and observation have numerous weaknesses because it is expensive and time engaging. Experiments require the recruitment of a sample of the population based on pre-determined criteria. Research reveals that the study involved interactive groups, monitoring, and support for a period exceeding six months (Muckle, 2017). Despite being one of the best methods to provide reliable proof of the hypothesis, experimentation requires investments in a lot of resources and time. Besides, testing may present a unique situation that may never replicate under normal circumstances (Walker, 2005). These methods of data collection are vulnerable to errors and therefore, likely to interfere with the validity of the statistical findings.

Data Reporting System

Inventions made in information technology introduces new and better methods of collecting reports on a sophisticated program. Governments and other relevant authorities introduce initiatives aimed at accomplishing essential socio-economic needs. Health represents one of the numerous applications where governments require constant evaluation of progress to facilitate the amendment of contingencies. Researchers designed a structure in Evaluation and Monitoring System (EMS) to monitor and assess the federal funding of HIV preclusion amd intervention program (Thomas, Smith, & Wright-DeAguero, 2006). Systematic data reporting system demonstrates whether the application meets the stated objectives based on the data observed. It helps researchers determine whether the program is closers to achieving its goal. The PEMS system enables CDC to monitor the efficacy of various HIV intervention scheme to ensure they are consistent with effective practices across the country.

On the flip side, data reporting systems are complex and applicable in small research studies. The PEMS system designed entails the development of standardized prevention variables, developing web-based software to facilitate data entry, and integration of data collection and evolution method for support service (Thomas et al., 2006). These are expensive requirements which may limit researchers with limited knowledge in computing.

Case Study Evaluation

Finally, a case study is an essential method of data collection method that provides factual data about the proposed hypothesis. Under this approach, researchers conduct a detailed evaluation of one of the numerous cases to demonstrate the impact of the theory on the phenomenon under study. An evaluative study demonstrates the use of a case study to assess the administrative and inspiration aspects through the Haiti evaluation model (Menon et al., 2008). This method provides for direct observation of the proposed strategy at work to determine their effectiveness to solve the underlying problem. However, a case study is a weaker form of data collection technique because of present data applicable to the group. The case study is intended to reveal the general characteristic of the general topic of study. Therefore, the result may not be reliable because each functional group works differently to achieve similar results.


According to the examination of the various methods of collecting information, it is clear that each one of them has strengths and also weaknesses. The evaluation borrowed from multiple research studies to understand how the method adopted helped to enhance the quality and reliability of the evidence presented. Therefore, researchers should be careful in the design of their data collection methods to ensure that they gather sufficient information to support the arguments presented in the study. Practicability is also an essential factor which emerged as a critical variable determining the quality of the data collection methods. Although some methods like quasi-experimentation and data reporting system provide factual data, they are expensive and not applicable where there are limited resources. Besides, some plans require more time, which proved to be a leading weakness. Thus, the essay demonstrated that researchers face many constraints when designing the appropriate data collecting approaches.


Creedy, D. K., Mitchell, M., Seaton-Sykes, P., Cooke, M., et al. (2007, Oct.). Evaluating a Web-enhanced bachelor of nursing curriculum: perspectives of third-year students. Journal of Nursing Education, 46(10), 460-467. Doi:

Enander, R., Gagnon, R., Hanumara, R., Park, E., Armstrong, T., & Gute, D. (2007). Environmental Health Practice: Statistically Based Performance Measurement. American Journal of Public Health, 97(5), 819-824. doi:

Menon, P., Mbuya, M., Habicht, J., Pelto, G., Loechl, C., & Ruel, M. (2008). Assessing Supervisory and Motivational Factors in the Context of a Program Evaluation in Rural Haiti. The Journal of Nutrition, 138(3), 634-637. doi:

Muckle, S. (2007, Jul.). An evaluation of a primary care-based weight management initiative. Community Practitioner, 80(7), 20-23. doi:

Thomas, C., Smith, B., & Wright-DeAguero, L. (2006). The Program Evaluation and Monitoring System: A Key Source of Data for Monitoring Evidence-Based HIV Prevention Program Processes and Outcomes. AIDS Education and Prevention, 18 (Supp), 74-80. doi:

Walker, W. (2005). The strengths and weaknesses of research designs involving quantitative measures. Journal of Research in Nursing, 10(5), 571-582. doi:

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