Data collection is the process of gathering and measuring information on targeted variables in an established system, which then enables one to answer relevant questions and evaluate outcomes.
Data collection methods can be divided into two categories: secondary methods of data collection and primary methods of data collection.
Secondary data is a type of data that has already been published in books, newspapers, magazines, journals, online portals etc. There is an abundance of data available in these sources.
Primary data collection methods can be divided into two groups: quantitative and qualitative.
Quantitative data collection methods are based in mathematical calculations in various formats. Methods of quantitative data collection and analysis include questionnaires with closed-ended questions, methods of correlation and regression, mean, mode and median and others.
Qualitative research methods, on the contrary, do not involve numbers or mathematical calculations. Qualitative research is closely associated with words, sounds, feeling, emotions, colours and other elements that are non-quantifiable. Qualitative studies aim to ensure greater level of depth of understanding and qualitative data collection methods include interviews, questionnaires with open-ended questions, focus groups, observation, game or role-playing, case studies etc.