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Research is often conducted in almost all professions. It is defined as a process of finding answers to some questions that are implied in the process. It is basically a procedure for determining the truth from fiction. It applies certain approaches and methodologies that have been tested for their reliability and validity to collect the required data, which is then analyzed to arrive at the required findings. This paper will determine the various methodologies applied in research and illustrate the importance of data analysis.
The methodology is described as a guideline for arriving at a certain problem and it incorporates various components, such as tools, techniques, methods and tasks. However, it is important to note that an appropriate research methodology has to be identified that suits the research topic. Some of the factors that need to be considered include the objectives of the research study, source of information, tools and method that will be used for data collection, and the data analysis methods. Some of the data collection methods include observations, which entail gathering data through direct observation without the enquiry of the respondents. The survey method is basically used for collecting descriptive information, and can be either be structured surveys, whereby all the respondents are asked the same questions, or unstructured surveys, where the interviewer guides the interview with regard to the answers provided by the respondents.
Another method of data collection is the contact method, where the information can be obtained through personal interviews, mails or telephone. The experimental or empirical research method entails establishing conclusions that can be proved through experimentation or observation. The most commonly used tool for data collection is the questionnaires. However, it is important to note that the methodology that will be applied in the collection of data will determine the type of information that will be collected. It is therefore important to identify the most appropriate method that will be applied in collecting data to ensure the information collected is relevant. The success of a specific research study therefore depends in on the methodology that will be applied.
Importance of Data Analysis
Data analysis is a procedure that is applied to inspect, clean, change and model data in order to identify useful information from which conclusions will be drawn. After collecting the data, it is important that such data is inspected in order to identify erroneous data that has to be corrected without making any subjective decisions. The collected data has to be then analyzed in order to find answers to the research problem. However, it is important to note that analyzing data should not be taken as a way of coming up with decisions, but rather what is most significant is how the analysis is conducted. Data analysis can therefore be viewed as a decision making system and not as a decision making system.
Data analysis offers various benefits. One of the reasons as to why data analysis is important is because it enables the process of obtaining meaningful information from the dataset. After the information has been collected, it is likely that the data contains divergent views from diverse respondents interviewed. It is therefore important that this data is analyzed in order to identify meaningful information that will be used to answer the research problem. Besides, it is important to note that it is from the analyzed data that decisions will be drawn regarding the whole study. The findings will illustrate whether the research problem has been answered or not and a final decision can be reached at using the findings of the study. For instance, if a study is conducted to determine the effectiveness of a certain machine that should be introduced to an organization, then after data has been collected and analyzed, it is from the findings that the organization will decide whether or not to introduce the machine.
Data analysis also helps in eliminating individual bias through appropriate statistical treatment. It is certain that sometimes biased responses can be acquired and therefore data analysis subjects such data into proper statistical treatment to eliminate biased findings. Furthermore, during the process of data collection, the information obtained is not well elaborate and thus, cannot be well understood. Analyses will therefore elaborate the information to finer details for easier understanding; in other words, split the macro information into a micro one.
In conclusion, the methodology applied in the research process plays a significant role in determining the kind of information that will be collected. Analyzing the data provides information from which conclusions can be drawn. It also provides an easier understanding that helps in eliminating individual biasness.