Sunday, January 13, 2013

How do you collect data for your research?

This is the thesis season. Lots of my university friends are in their final year and they have started collecting data for their undergraduate thesis. Being tech savvy people, most of them have taken the digital path to send their questionnaires to the respondents. I have seen several methods they use to collect data.

Methods I have seen this season :

Creating a group conversation in Facebook

What I do not like about the method
  1. Adding those hundred odd friends into one conversation is disturbing. When one person replies, another hundred have to read it. (of course you can leave the conversation if you like)
  2. There is no confidentiality of the answers collected.
  3. If there are 20 questions, people who answer have to find a way to make sure that they are not mixing the answers and the question numbers.
  4. Facebook messages are simply not meant to be used to collect data for your research.

Emailing a questionnaire prepared as a word document

What I do not like about the method
  1. Have to download the document.
  2. Have to check whether I have the Word 2007 or above is installed.
  3. Have to type in the answers and save the document.
  4. Have to upload the document back into an email and send back.
  5. Simply, the process is too long.
Given the reasons why I do not like the above methods, it  is a shame if I do not put down the methods you can use to collect data in a more efficient way.

Efficient Method #1 and my favorite : Google Forms

The method that I like the most is Google Forms. If you are wondering how to create a Google Form, this 10 mins tutorial will help you get an idea.

Ok, why Google Forms?

Here are the 5 features that I like the most about Google Forms :
  • Simple
  • Ability to share the link in social networks
  • Ability to embed the form into a web page or an email
  • Responses are automatically added into a spreadsheet which can be exported into an Excel Sheet or any other format you like
  • Ability to view responses with charts and graphs
want to see examples? 

Form embedded into a web page : Contact form of this blog 
Form link to share among friends : Example research questionnaire I have prepared
Responses recorded in a spreadsheet : Responses to the above questionnaire

Efficient Method #2: Zoho Forms

Zoho Forms are little bit complex than Google Forms. They almost work as forms in an application. I have used it only a few times and these are my favorite features of Zoho Forms

  • Ability to upload files with responses
  • Ability to enable data validation
  • Easy form creation : you only have to select the feature and drop it to the form, designing is easy.

Efficient Method #3 : Use a service built for collecting data

For example, Survey Monkey offers a nice list of features for collecting data online. As they are meant to be used for the purpose of collecting data, they offer you facilities to easily analyze and create reports.

So, why Word documents? switch into one of the above methods to collect data and you will see that those services reduces your workload in half. 

These services:
  • are simple
  • reduces the typing and the number of clicks that the respondent have to spend to reply your questionnaire
  • makes it easy for you to analyse your data
If you have used any other methods to collect data for your surveys, let the others know in comments.

Happy Data Collecting Everyone :)

  • Forms is just one thing that Zoho can do for you. If you want to know more, have a look at this post in Sinhala.
  • Interested in reading a report based on the above example questionnaire? Here is the first part and the second can be accessed from here.


  1. ඔබ කියනා ආකාරයේ ප්‍රශ්ණ ඇසිම් මා පෝරම් වල දැක තිබෙනවා..යාහු ආන්සර් වැනි අඩවි වල අපිට ප්‍රශ්ණ සහ උත්තර බලාගන්න පුලුවන්....මම හිතන්නෙ අපි අහන්න යන පස්න කොමන් වගේ නම් අපිට අන්තර්ජාලයේ කලිං එවැනි පස්න අසා පිලිතුර ලබාගෙන ඇති පෝරම් ආදියෙන් අපිට නියම උත්තර හොරකං කරගන්න පුලුවන් වේවි...

  2. yahoo answers වගේ සේවා research වලට දත්ත එකතු කරන්න නම් පාවිච්චි කරන්න අමාරු වේවි. ඒක හදලා තියෙන්නේ මොකක් හරි ගැටලුවකට පිරිසක් දෙන උත්තර අතරින් හොඳම ඒක තෝරාගන්න.

    research නැතිව වෙන ගැටළුවක් නම් , උදාහරණයක් වශයෙන්, දැනට තියන හොඳටම සිංහල සපෝට් කරන බ්‍රව්සරය වගේ දෙයක් හොයාගන්න නම් ෆෝරම් සහ යාහු answers පාවිච්චි කරන්න පුළුවන්.

  3. Hello. Facebook takes a [url=]casinos[/url] wager move in reverse on 888 casino disburse: Facebook is expanding its efforts to put further real-money gaming to millions of British users after announcing a practise with the online gambling companions 888 Holdings.And Bye.

  4. Aw, this was an eхtгеmеly
    nіce рost. Takіng the timе and actual effort
    tο make a veгy goοd artiсlе… but ωhat cаn I saу… I heѕіtate
    а lоt аnd dоn't manage to get anything done.

    Also visit my web page kaizen ephedrin
    Also see my webpage:

  5. Was looking for splendid submitting! I must say i really enjoyed perusing them, tonsil stones you're an ideal writer.I'll make the time to lesemarke your web page Satellite direct review all of which will typically visit later in life. I'd like to encourage you carry on an individual's wonderful blog posts, have a relatively attractive holiday break penis advantage week end!

  6. [p]When TechRardar asked if Daisy would be just in America, and if there are any plans for a global front, Rogers stated that, despite a mountain of technical and licensing issues, the plans was to go as global 隆掳as fast as possible隆卤 . 2 percent in 2011 篓C that隆炉s almost 隆锚1bn less spent on products than in the previous year . Now that HTC has formed a US$300 million tag team operation with [url=]beats by dre uk[/url] Beats Electronics, we隆炉re eager for them to roll out their first audio-equipped smartie . Dre who is a hip hop singer and composer had stepped [url=]beats by dre headphones uk[/url] ahead to give an appropriate solution for this problem . Creating utilization of this wireless engineering we are in an extremely placement to hold advantage belonging for the headphone freely . If we do not soon comprehend the connection between press and learning, if we have not made such a connection, this technological innovation may be used mainly for entertaining operas and online purchase of consumer products . cheap beats With ControlTalk, As the excellent on-ear accent impressed by Justin隆炉s signature style, Justbeats seals in the extensive spectrum of audio and gives [url=]beats by dr dre[/url] go-anywhere capacity, although the reduced-profile connector effortlessly couples with any new music player or cell cellphone . cheap beats by dre.[/p][p]If replacing busted buds over and over again is getting old, when you step up to iBeats, you not only get stylish in-ear headphones built to last . In particular, Beats By Dre Headsets assignation very fairly very good in decreased frequency, in addition as bass strength and flexibility . Best for entertainment, this device [url=]beats by dre headphones[/url] is popular in the in-flight entertainment . For wireless sounds, it comes supplied with USB and 30-pin transmitters, and a USB cable that fits the 30-pin dongle so you can [url=]beats by dr dre headphones[/url] power your iOS device through the mains while transmitting . Recently the brand worked teamed up with the most well known headphone beats by dre studio brand to drop theBeats By Dre x Staple Design headphones for fans of both . Moreover, the created wifi engineering facilitates be particular the audio tracks marvelous brilliant employing the cellphone . Thirdly, is a piece of good news for those who dig in the mode . It隆炉s fair to say that since the dawn of the original Beats by hip-hop quack Dr Dre, the range has gathered a mahoosive following from the likes of football players and bass junkies, all the way down to HTC-toting smartphone users.[/p]

  7. [p]Passes th SSS Bass test at 10HZ great mids, trebles, nd bass . cheap beats by [url=]cheap beats by dre[/url] dre . Listening environment are the dead of night its sound unit selected international professional American knowles floor隆炉s balanced armature moving iron speaker, the selection of high-quality aluminum alloy shell as raw material, through cutting the Japanese CNC CNC machine tools high-precision grinding, precisionmetal lines with a rigorous work, reflecting the extraordinary cheap custom studio artistic value . It can be you are every money using that compose that considering financial situation to buy any piece of plots to stroke the part of landbests from dre single harley-davidson headphones, There are some states, bolted the door behind him, And they all pretty much look the same and say the same thing: logo,beats by dre uk, you have to know what moves the [url=]cheap beats by dre earphones[/url] market . The trouble is, it隆炉s [url=]beats by dre earphones[/url] not necessarily the most honest mix . Monster [url=]cheap solo beats by dre [/url] Studio Pink Beats by Dr . I ordered the white one just because I thought the white one was a kind of more unique and different . These products of real [url=]solo beats by dre[/url] people seems to newcomers, domestic, which is effective in the fight against the result of its exterior.[/p]

  8. [p]Tiffany Jewellery – Has Been The World’s Premier Jewelry Outlet OnlineThird, look into the Tiffany bracelet’s excess weight and 925 [url=]tiffany jewelry[/url] silver designations . "

    Tiffany came out publicly in opposition of the New World bid, while also overhauling its [url=]tiffany jewelry uk[/url] supply chain for gold and other precious metals . A lot of on-line buying stores sell [url=]tiffany rings[/url] engrave capable bracelets, rings, watches, and much more, and you get choices in between sterling silver, gold, and diamonds . ? Don you think a piece of Tiffany bracelet stands for concise and free? You can wear your Tiffany bracelet to [url=]cheap tiffany jewelry[/url] accompany with your wonderful but maybe a little alone trip . charm bracelets often be really valued Pandora Beads Sale within the marketplace for rather some time . Even, you can use your Tiffany bracelet to save yourself when you are in a dangerous status . When wearing a bracelet not strictly limited the number, you can [url=]tiffany rings uk
    [/url] wear one, you can wear two, three, or even more . Placing at excellent diamond these type as Tiffany jewelry is a sort in style to help you retain swiftness with style and precious time.[/p]