Data can be defined as two values of levels of measurement (qualitative and quantities). Qualitative and quantitative data form the theory of scales by American psychologist Stanley Smith Stevens. Data can be words, numbers, figures, etc. The document that we are discussing contains many dates, percentages, numbers and words. For this statistical investigation, the document should contain sufficient data backing up statements. This gives the reader acknowledgement that sufficient background research has been done.
Words: “More than a billion mobile phone connections have been added to the global tally…” – this statement contains data in the form of words. An article congaing too many figures can be confusing to the reader. Thus, words can be used to substitute figures. However, this has a weaker effect compared to figures.
Numbers: The article mentions the number “18”. This is an example of a data type (number) used within a sentence to express value. Numbers can be used to ensure a sound effect.
Percentages: The text mentions “47%”. This is another example of data used to support arguments, statement, and allegations.
Dates: The article mentions “June 2010”. This, like all previous examples of data types, is used to provide backing to statements.
Dates, percentages, words, and numbers are used to provide precise and specific material. If the article were to contain mere words, it would give a broad, generic vibe.
Qualitative, Quantitative, Subjective and Objective Data
Quantitative data is used to describe things, which can be counted or numerically expressed. Quantitative data can be contrasted to qualitative data. Qualitative data is data, which is used to describe things in terms of qualities or categorizations. Qualitative data can be gathered from interviews and surveys. “Ben Wood, mobile phone analyst at BBC Insight said the mobile phone may be "the most prolific consumer device on the planet"” – This is an example of qualitative data. “…Given that 30 million phones are sold every year in the UK” – This is an example of quantitative data.
The statement is counting that 30 million phones are sold every year in the UK. This is also an objective statement, since it contains facts, which are observed. Subjective data is based on personal feelings, such as someone’s opinion or personal judgment. An example of subjective data is: “Mobile phones have taken the word by storm”. Subjective and objective data can be quantitatively or qualitatively measured. Capturing Data
Data can be gathered by doing primary or secondary research. To insure data accuracy, one may choose to do a primary research. Primary research involves gathering and processing data personally. Primary data can be gathered in many ways, such as interviews, questionnaire and surveys. There are advantages and disadvantages to all the mentioned methods. Questionnaires can be taken at certain times and compared to previous ones. Results can be used to produce charts and graphs. The results could also be used to forecast upcoming growth, sales, etc. The questionnaire can be specifically designed to reach such results. The downside to questionnaires is misinformation. The consumers could give incorrect information. This might be due to vague questions, or participants rushing through questions. For example, a questionnaire could ask: “Would you recommend this phone to a friend?” The participant might answer with a “yes”, while he would not recommend the mobile phone to any of his/her friends. This is a major disadvantage of capturing data through questionnaires.
Capturing data through surveys is another common way. This is usually in the form of feedback. Surveys could be placed on websites to reach larger demography. Thus, feedback can be diverse, in terms of reaching people from many different ethnic and racial backgrounds. This method can be useful in studying the social feasibility of releasing a new product or idea.
Secondary research or desk research is research that is collected from existing primary research. Secondary research is suitable when low cost, quick results are needed. The disadvantage to secondary research is, existing primary research used could be biased or inaccurate. The Internet is also used to conduct secondary research. The Internet contains voluminous amounts of data. However, it could be difficult to find sources of information. Books, newspapers, and magazines could be used to avoid such problems. Using the Internet is much easier in terms of conducting searches through search engines and organizing work. Whether you use books or the Internet, there is always the risk of outdated data (e.g. the data displayed could be of 2003-2009, while the material displays the data as 2003-Present). Newspapers and magazines could be used to do secondary research, as well as Television. The risk of gathering incorrect information is high, this could be due to biased information. In conclusion, primary research is accurate yet time consuming. Secondary research has the high risk of incorrect information, while low in cost.