The notion of harvest refers to process and the result of collecting (gather, collect or harvest something). A fact , on the other hand, an information that allows to generate a certain knowledge.
This means that data collection is the activity that involves the collection of information within a certain context After gathering this information, the time will come for data processing , which consists in working with the collected to turn it into useful knowledge.
Within the data collection you can appeal to various techniques : the surveys , the observation , the Sampling and the interviews , among others, allow you to perform the task. According to the type of data, the person will use different instruments (audio recorder, camera, etc.).
In the case of the interview it is essential that the person who is going to carry it out, in advance, proceed to prepare it. And it is only in this way that you will be able to choose the questions (open or closed) that you are going to make as well as set the time you will invest, the place where you are going to develop it and even the “tools” that you can use to get the most possible information.
In addition to the above, we cannot ignore that data collection can be carried out through two different types of interviews:
-Structured. These have the advantages that they are easy to administer, they offer great simplicity as to what their evaluation is, that it takes a limited time to complete and that they allow to achieve much more objective results.
-Non-structures. These others, on the other hand, in favor have that the person who carries them out has more freedom to ask the questions as well as the possibility of being able to exploit other questions that arise spontaneously during the meeting.
In the same way, another resource that can be used to undertake data collection is the questionnaire, which can be closed or opened. The difference between the two is that the first one allows the person who is going to answer it only to give very specific answers, while in the other the results can be much more varied and broad.
Suppose a journalist is making a investigation about a government official who would have participated in an act of corruption. To carry out his journalistic work, he begins collecting data by interviewing other officials, opposition politicians, police and judicial authorities. Also access documents that allow you to prove the fact. Once you collect all the data, process it and present it as an article in a newspaper.
Scientists also develop data collection. A anthropologist You can visit an indigenous town to observe their customs, talk with the villagers and take Photographs . The data collected can then be dumped in an academic investigation.
Data collection is very important as it allows sustain the knowledge that will be generated later. However, collection alone does not guarantee the quality of the knowledge produced.