Whether you are working on a thesis or working for the local government, if you have a data collection project you are going to need a plan. Regardless of the nature of your data collection project, it will require a data collection plan and for the most part these are all similar in design and in structure. The steps to developing a data collection plan will remain constant and once you have a solid plan you will be able to execute it over and over again.
Designing And Setting Up Your Data Collection Project
The key to any data collection project is sound data, without this the project is useless. There are steps that hold true no matter what kind of data collection project you are executing that ensure the integrity and reliability of the data. All scientific endeavors are based around this and no matter how small of big your project is you should always aspire to achieving the goal of data accuracy and integrity.
The first step is to clearly define and outline the goals and objectives of the data collection project. Make sure that anyone who is collecting the data is aware of these goals and everyone involved in the project has a keen and accurate understanding of what the project hopes to accomplish.
Next you have to determine how you will be collecting the data and the steps and procedures to do so. Each person collecting the data must be made aware of what these steps are and how the data will be gathered so that each is doing the exact same steps. You can very quickly and easily have a project fall apart if this step is not recognized and adhered to.
Finally make sure that the methods laid out above are repeatable, measurable, and accurate. Have an open discussion with the members who will be participating in the project to get their feedback. This will solidify the method in their and your mind ensuring that everyone involved in the data collection project is on the same page.
As you can see the key to making sure you project goes well is that you follow steps to ensure the integrity of your data. It is key because the entire project hinges on the data and collecting it properly is the key to making it a success. By following these steps you will have taken the initial and rudimentary steps to make your project a success.