sourcing and collecting data

  • Created by: rbird123
  • Created on: 02-12-20 13:52

IT  Learning Aim E - Sourcing and collecting data

Primary data 

Data which is collected for a specific purpose is called primary data. Methods of collecting data will vary according to the type of information being collected and the goals in the research. 


Surveys are a good way to collect large amounts of data from a given population. A population may be all the inhabitants of a country, a town, a school,  all the existing or potential customers or clients of a particular business or organisation or some other chosen group of people. 


A questionnaire is similar to a survey but it is likely to be sent to existing clients or customers who have recently made a purchase, used a particular product or service, or work for the organisation using the questionnaire. 

Quantitative and qualitative data 

Questions on the form “on a scale of 1-5, how far do you agree with the following statement” are commonly used in gathering opinions. This type of data is called quantitative data. Answers in the form of a numerical value are much easier to analyse; for example, spreadsheet formulas can be used to do quite detailed analyses of answers. 

Focus Groups 

Typically a focus group includes between eight and twelve participants, and a moderator to guide the discussion.

Selecting people for a focus groups 

If the goal is to test a new product you want to choose people who currently use similar products. 

Screen the participants: Choose members that are past, current or prospective users of the product. Customer lists are good for this as well as adverts on social media. 

Using open ended questions 

Open ended questions are widely used in focus groups, this is because the aim of them is to encourage discussion and share opinions. 


Interviews are time consuming and generally used infrequently to gather information. Job interviews are a common example they are used to gain more information about the candidate. When a new IT


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