There are many kinds of data collection instruments; highly scientific instruments designed to analyze data for scientists, or simple tests to check babies developmental progress they are both different kinds data collection instruments. People by far are the most complicated subjects a company, scientists, or historians will ever encounter; people’s feelings and opinions are especially sought by companies.
Sometimes people feel different about certain subjects when in a group then they might when left on their own, conversely they may feel different about a subject when they are in front of an interviewer than they do when left alone with their thoughts and are able to express themselves in writing. For this reason there are often three main data collection instruments scientists or company analysts will use to gauge people’s opinions.
One data collection instrument often used is a written questionnaire or quiz; a written questionnaire is the least expensive and least bias data collection instrument readily available to scientists. The fact that the questions will always stay constant and that it can be more convenient for respondents to answer. On the downside though because there is no one monitoring the questions, there is the potential that some people will choose not to answer the questionnaire at all.
Face to Face Interview
Sometimes scientists or interviewers may use face to face interviews as a data collection instrument; face to face interviews allow for more open ended questions and as a result a more personal view of the question at hand. The interviewer or scientist could however skew the results using their own judgment or interpretation of the information given; also this method can be costly because employees need to be paid for giving the interviews.
Another data collection instrument commonly used by companies and scientists are focus group interviews; these interviews can be give some challenging responses to turn into readable data because there are so many different opinions given at once and because it is scientific fact that the majority of the population would rather agree with the people around them to be accepted than stand out from a crowd with their opinions.
However, this can be a terrific data collection instrument as well because there is greater potential for more concise data and because there is an interviewer on site, the interviewer may ask more open ended questions and there for get more in depth information from their subjects.
Data collection instruments may be varied and the term itself has a general and broad range, of meanings; every branch of intelligence uses some form of data collection instruments to help their business or research progress.
Doctors use sophisticated technology to collect data about diseases and cures, businesses use other people to collect data about many aspects of their company; some businesses use data collection instruments to improve the efficiency of their company, others want to use the information to train their employee’s or make their employee’s happier. In any circumstance data collection proves the old saying that knowledge is power.