Data collection and analysis

Data collection and analysis

I am not an expert in research or methodology, but I know how to follow a process.

When you embark on the data collection phase of your #thesis, it is essential that you focus on the process you intend to follow. Who are your participants going to be, what is their specific demographic, and how are you to find these people? Following that, you start your data collection, and again, a series of questions arise. This part of your thesis journey is the theme for this month’s blog, please find a link in the comments below.

When I’m struggling to think “process”, I generally find it useful to think through a natural process that I follow regularly to gain perspective on the flow. For example, preparing my first coffee in the morning. It is imperative that one articulates this process explicitly: (1) get out of bed, (2) don my gown and slippers, (3) walk to the kettle in the kitchen, (4) pick up the kettle and walk to my water supply, (4) walk back to kettle station and switch it on, etc., etc. – you get my drift.

This is how your methodology is expressed in your research report. Each step of the process is perfectly clear and meaningful. Don’t leave anything out, no matter how unimportant or superfluous it seems to you, the reader wants to know what you did, why you did it, and how you actioned it.

As daunting as this may sound, it is exciting, this is where you have been headed from the start, this is your whole thesis coming together. Embrace this process and have fun doing it.

Always remember, if you can’t think, verbalise, or write it, you can’t do it. In other words, close your eyes and imagine your collection of data process: from finding your participants to identifying your conclusions. Pace this process out, one step at a time. And write it down.

Yours in fun data collection