Management 202: Data Collection Methods




Methods of Primary Data Collection

Primary data

There are three main methods of Primary data collection which include;






This involves the Investigator preparing a recording instrument and personally going into the field to observe and collect data.

*Direct Observation; Involves respondents who are aware of the process

*Indirect Observation; Involves respondents who are not aware of the process. It is mainly used in behavioral study.

Advantages of Observation

Gives immediate Feedback

The data collected is reliable

Disadvantages of Observation

Not Convenient for extensive (Large scale) studies

It is subjective to the observers’ opinions and convictions



The investigator prepares an interviewing schedule (A list of questions relating to the subject under study with suggested answers and spaces for answers

This is presented

To the respondents directly in a face to face interaction or over the telephone (Telephone Interviews) Often Emunarators are trained to help in data collection

The Interviewer asks the question and records the response.

Advantages of Interviews

Gives immediate feedback

Interviewer can explain the questions

The Interviewer can enquire more about the information given

Data collected is reliable.

Demerits of Interviews

Time consuming

It is Expensive

The Interviewer is not completely in control of the telephone interviews

A lot of pressure on the respondent



A list of questions relating to subject under study. It has suggested answers and spaces for answers

It is represented to respondent directly or by mail (Postal questionnaires)

The respondents fill in their answers.

Advantages of Questionnaires

Time saving

They provide reference for the future

Has no pressure on respondent

They give precise data.

Demerits of Questionnaires

Restricted to literate respondents


High chances of non-Response with postal questionnaires

There are high chances of omissions and mistakes

Drafting a Questionnaire (Designing)

The questionnaire is the only communication between the investigator and respondent thus it must be drafted with utmost care. It should be as short as possible

Questionnaire has three parts;

Part One: Introduction

Introduces the investigator and subject of study

Serves to assure respondents to give correct data

Part Two: General Information

About the respondent (Such as Age, Marital status, Level of Education, Occupation, Address and so on.)

Part Three: Questions

Relating to the subject of study

The questions should:

Be simple and easy to understand,

Be Short

Flow in a logical sequence

Not involve calculations

Not be very ambiguous

Should not be leading

Not be personal/sensitive in nature

Should not use technical terms



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