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How basic data is collected

Data collection methods are the primary and most crucial task in statistics. There are different methods of data collection.

What is Data Collection: Introduction

Data Collection is defined as assembling, measuring, analysing, and interpreting data from different sources. This is done to evaluate results, calculate probabilities, plan strategies, and make decisions. It is a systematic and significant process to gain knowledge and draw conclusions for research papers and business analytics. Error-free and intricate data collection methods are crucial for data analytics applications.

Data Collection Methods

Different data collection methods are used in different fields depending upon the nature and quality of the work. 

The data, sometimes, is collected by the researcher directly. This is called Primary data collection. Other times, second-hand data is collected by other parties and is used by the researcher. This is mainly used to collect quantitative data and is called secondary data collection. 

Primary data is comparatively difficult to procure, cumbersome, and very expensive. On the other hand, secondary data can be easily collected and are less expensive, but they often can be inaccurate.

Qualitative data doesn’t include measurements and calculations, but quantitative data majorly constitutes graphs, tables, and estimated numbers.

The sources and the nature of data that is to be collected mainly determine the method of data collection.

What are the Five Methods of Collecting Data?

Mainly there are five different methods of data collection in statistics:

  • Interviews 

This is the most common method of data collection. It can either be done by calling for in-person interviews or talking to a large audience via mass media communication sources. Interviewing is done to know and gain knowledge and ideas about a given subject’s in-depth perception and personal details. This method of data collection is usually very accurate. These interviews can be spontaneous or even planned and structured. The interview method is used to get the perfect sample of the general crowd. The interviewer can collect extra information about the respondent’s characteristics and environment. This helps in yielding accurate and pointed results.

  • Surveys and Questionnaires

Surveys are also an excellent method to collect relevant and on-point data. Online surveys are instrumental in collecting a lot of data within a limited period. Surveys are usually done with the help of questionnaires. They can be option-based or can sometimes allow the person to write free and flexible answers accordingly. Such a method of data collection by surveying a significant population helps in understanding and organising detailed and fair information. This enables researchers to identify patterns, interpret their data, and explain their findings. In this process, the questionnaires should be simple, logical, and less time-consuming.

  • Observation

In the observation method, data is collected without asking questions. The power of sight and senses is used to collect data. Observational skills help understand the dynamics and are used to take down a subject’s work under uncontrolled and controlled circumstances. It is more like taking a closer and deeper look into the situation. In such a data collection method, the researchers do not control the groups to which the subjects are assigned. The observer mainly focuses on the cause-effect relationship. This data collection method is less demanding, which makes it less biased in working abilities.

  • Schedules

This data collection method is somewhat similar to the questionnaire method. However, in this method, a particular group of selected individuals (called the enumerators) are appointed to answer a set of questions. The enumerators record their details in the schedule. Generally, government agencies use such methods as it requires a lot of money to conduct these sessions.

  • Focus Groups

It is a group interview of people with a facilitator who guides and provides information based on predetermined topics. The facilitator furnishes an environment that encourages and allows the participants to share their viewpoints. It is a qualitative data collection method, which means data is descriptive and cannot be measured numerically. It mainly contains six to twelve people who share similar characteristics. Such focus groups give in-depth knowledge about people’s perceptions, ideas, realities, and beliefs.


To conclude, different data collection methods help researchers generate ideas and connect dots according to their area of research. Accurate information and accurate response can only be derived by the appropriate method. The research report’s quality depends on the authenticity of data collection. The collected data is the base, which the researcher compiles and analyses to get the end derivatives. There are five major methods of data collection. Some of them focus on qualitative data, while some extract quantitative data.


Frequently asked questions

Get answers to the most common queries related to the CBSE Class 11 Examination Preparation.

What is data collection?

Ans: Assembling, measuring, analysing, and interpreting data from different sources is called data ...Read full

What are Primary and Secondary methods of data collection?

Ans: Primary data is collected by oneself or an organisation from the ground level. ...Read full

What makes up a good questionnaire?

Ans: The questionnaire should contain several questions arranged in a logical order. The questions ...Read full

What is a telephonic Interview?

Ans: This is a more flexible form of interview method where the respondents are contacted through t...Read full

What are some methods of collecting secondary data?

Ans: The secondary data is generally obtained from various central and state publications, local go...Read full