If you have a thesis project or a work assignment that involves data collection you will need to have a data collection plan. The importance of this to your project research may not be readily apparent, but look deep enough and any solid research has had an even more solid data collection plan.
Key Components Of Your Data Collection Plan
The first thing you need to do when developing your data collection plan is clearly define the purpose and scope of the data collection. It is important to make this as clear as possible so that you can communicate that information with the other members who will be participating in the data collection.
The better you outline this part, the easier every other piece of your data collection plan will come together. This will make solidify the project and with clearly outlined goals everyone will no the purpose of your research.
Next you will have to define and outline how you will be collecting the data. Whether you are using forms, interviewing people, or simply measuring something you need to have the method on how the data will be collected and recorded clearly outlined. Important in this section is what will be the system you will use to measure the results.
Feet or meters, ounces or grams, English or Japanese, depending on your experiment you will have to outline what you are going to use and communicate that to the people who will be assisting you in collecting the data.
Once you have all that outlined you need to step back and take a hard look at your data collection plan to make sure the data you are collecting will be able to support or disprove the purpose of the experiment. Perhaps even having a few initial test subjects then comparing the results may prove useful.
It is important that the data can be shown ahead of time to work into what your thesis or project attempts to accomplish. There is nothing worse then working for a while on a project and realizing that there is nothing you can do to salvage it.
Follow these steps and you should be able to complete any data collection project handed your way. Regardless of what the project entails you should be well prepared to configure the data collection plan so that you can easily and quickly complete what is needed for to support or disprove you theory. Without proper structure, data collection done improperly can ruin months or years of hard work.