In doing research and data analysis, many have struggled with differentiating between the dependent and independent variables when running statistical tests and/or experiments. A clear understanding of these two concepts will play a major role in an individual’s thinking as a researcher/ experimenter.
This animation seeks to address this common challenge of differentiating between the independent & dependent variables in a research.
Research is a systematic approach to collecting, entering and analyzing data. The process of data collection begins with determining which ‘sampling method(s)’ one will use – qualitative or quantitative.
This slideshow provides a practical ‘how-to guide’ in sampling techniques, looking at the qualitative versus the quantitative approaches.
At Balcostics our mission is to empower leaders with the required data and information to make better decisions. Learn more about our full list of research outsourcing services for individuals and companies: Click here
“It is not every question that deserves an answer.” – Pubius Syrus
Questionnaire design is imperative to the success of a research project. When all is said and done, the results of your research reflect the questions that were asked. This slide will highlight the following:
- What questions should be asked
- Best approaches in phrasing a question
- Arranging the questionnaire
- Pretesting ones questionnaire
Here we seek to highlight answers to the following questions:
- What is research?
- What is the research process?
- Why we do research?
- Why do a literature review?
Before embarking on a new research project, the following are considered extremely important to the successful execution of same:
Planning should begin with the brainstorming phase, where the problems/ questions that need answering is verbally aired, reviewed and discussed. A white board is an excellent tool that can be used to capture the information and foster the discussion surrounding the problem. Generally most of your research questions come from these brainstorming sessions.
In my experience with Balcostics and helping people with their analysis, I’ve come across many persons who went and collect data that was not relevant in answering/ solving the problem they commissioned the research to solve. Dwayne Spradlin highlighted in his Havard business review article “Are you solving the right problems?”, the importance of asking the right questions and thoroughly defining the problem.
Organization is key! Most successful researchers have good project management skills, whether they were formally trained or not. Tasks listings, resource allocation, budget and timelines are necessary evils in the planning process.
Research is a methodology, Not percentages!
Research is a systematic way of collecting, analyzing and presenting data. The methodology used in the design, collection and analysis of the data is imperative. The methodology should be given high priority, to ensure the sample is representative and margin of errors are adequate.
Please comment and share your opinion on any of the simple points presented.
About the author:
Luwayne Thomas Bsc., Msc.
Co-founder & COO @balcostics
Follow on twitter: @LuwayneThomas
Be Prepared to Interview
Be prepared, Be very prepared. It is one thing to gather the courage to walk up to a perfect stranger, put on your best smile and ask them to fill out a questionnaire. It is a completely different thing to make a phone call to a complete stranger and ask them to sit on the phone with you for God knows how long, while you ask them questions they don’t want to hear, and can’t be bothered with. Seems harsh but it’s true. The following are some of the main reasons you should be well prepared:
The following represents questions one should ask when creating a questionnaire.
What does the question contribute?
Each question included in the questionnaire, should contribute significantly to acquiring relevant information for the researcher. The questionnaire should be assessed prior, so as to ensure that all the questions present are relevant and if not, irrelevant questions removed.
Over the years doing data entry, data analysis and interpretation of results for students, lecturers and companies; We have come to concluded that questionnaire design is one of the most critical element of any survey type study (studies where questionnaires are used to collect data). The questionnaire can make or break your data analysis, so pay attention!
We have seen the good, the bad and the indifferent, as it relates to questionnaires. The good ones always include: Obvious headings, clear instructions as to what should be done to complete the questionnaire, concise questions, and most importantly, the questions asked, should adequately address the hypotheses being tested – the main issues or problems being examined.