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Thegoal of data collection is to acquire quality information that allowsanalysis to lead to the formulation of convincing and crediblesolutions to the questions that have been posed. The choice of themethods for collecting data depends upon the variables to bemeasured, the source and the resources available. The method to beemployed is determined by the data collection strategy, the type ofvariable, the accuracy required, the collection point and the skillof the enumerator. Data collection should be conducted at intervalssufficiently frequent for the management purpose.

Data is collectedfrom several sources to crosscheck for errors. There are strong linksbetween categories of data, where they can be obtained and themethods, which are available for their collection. Some main datacollection methods are: Registration: Registers and licenses are particularly valuable for a complete enumeration. Questionnaires: Forms which are completed and returned by respondents. It is an inexpensive scheme that is useful where literacy rates are high and respondents are cooperative. Interviews: Forms which are completed through an interview with the respondent.

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Although they’re more expensive than questionnaires, they are better suited for more complex questions, low literacy or less cooperation. Direct observations: Making direct measurements is the most accurate method for many variables but it is often expensive. Reporting: It is the main alternative to making direct measurements.

Reporting requires literacy and cooperation but can be backed up by a legal requirement and direct measurements.Regardlessof the field of study or priority for defining data, accurate datacollection is necessary to maintain the integrity of the research. Aformal data collection process is necessary as it assures that thedata so gathered is both defined and accurate and that subsequentdecisions based on arguments embodied in the results are valid.Theconsumer data is very pivotal to the success of any going concernorganization to remain competitive and ahead of the pack, bothdomestically and internationally. Apart from the underlying datacollection methods for assembling consumer data, there are some othertactics used by the big firms in accumulating consumer data, some ofwhich is seized without their consent. Below are some techniques usedkeeping in mind the above tactics: Loyalty Cards: Firms use loyalty cards to influence greed from consumers in the face of rewarding them with shopping bonuses in terms of discount coupons, vouchers etc.

That said, customers should be aware that each time they use loyalty or credit cards, their purchase data is being stored and tracked to identify and understand their shopping pattern, hence creating detailed customer profiles that can be sold to advertisers and other businesses. Gameplay: Even online gamers are not exempt from big data cluster. The constant web connection of devices allows game developers to access large amounts of data instantaneously, even if the game is single-player. Every time a user faces difficulty in clearing a particular level or gaining a particular bonus, they make an in-app purchase, or they install or delete the game, play for a long stretch or give up after few minutes, all this information is tracked and stored. Satellite Imagery: Another interesting source of big data is what can be visible from the sky. With the evolution of Google Earth® and Google Maps®, satellite data is now publicly available. This allows ingenious analytics professionals to develop surprisingly complete pictures of certain areas and even begin to understand the variety of people who live and work in those locations.

Employer Databases: Human resource departments use big data to profile their employees and quantify workplace performance. Some data collected to create employee profiles are:1.Amount of time workers spend on their computers.2.

The time period in a day when employees appear most active at work.3.The time when employees arrive at the workplace. Your Inbox: While the following revelation may not be true for all services, it is true in case of some of the most popular email providers, including Yahoo!© and Google©. Both of these companies use algorithms to scan the content of your email for certain keywords with the intention of providing advertising targeted towards your interests. For instance, this may include links for education loans to study in foreign universities, or hotel reservations, or maybe to notify about the upcoming discount/sale season of a particular brand.

Social Media Activity: Social media sites are another large providers of big data. Social media users often willingly provide insights into their personal lives to such services, and Terms of Service agreements typically allow sites the right to store and use this information as they see fit. However, big data analytics can also be used to document which features users agree to disable, which posts they delete and how often they log on into their social media profile at different times during a day. This information can be used to create thorough profiles of users’ habits and discover what information is important to them.

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