Data collection is vital for any aspect of any research study. However, inaccurate data collection can lead to poor results and ultimately be, a waste of time. There are two main strategies of data collection these include quantitative method and qualitative method. Quantitative data collection, relies on structured methodologies and random sampling. As a result of good quantitative method, research results are in many cases easy to generalize and summarize. In comparison, qualitative data collections are equally important in evaluating and establishing information needed to understand and assess changes in people’s needs and perceptions on smoking. These writing observes how qualitative analysis can be, used to improve the quality of quantitative evaluation methods by assisting in the generation of hypothesis. Equally qualitative strategies of data collection assist in expanding and strengthening the design of questionnaires enabling further clarification of different evaluation findings. Quantitative methods and qualitative methods discussed each has weaknesses and varying strengths. These writing discuss each of the arising disadvantages and advantages but also go further to discuss these advantages and disadvantages in connection to the smoking article under review and discussion. However, following a close review new methods of research are, introduced the paper continues to show how these new methods could be, used. The new methods involve mixed strategies that mix qualitative and quantitative methods at different lengths of the continuum. The mixed research process follows eight stages that bring out new possibilities. These strategic mixtures fall in two sub-methods known as mixed model methods and mixed methods, which are further, discussed. The two methods likewise come with a set of advantages and disadvantages also discussed. In conclusion, this piece is, designed to find and discuss the methods used in the smoking article including proposing and assessing the new methods.
In many occasions, researchers have pursued the extremes to achieve data through quantitative and qualitative methods. The reason being the capability of the Quantitative and qualitative strategies to not only gather information, but also rigorously ensure its credibility. Qualitative strategies of research as used in the journal, answer to the questions of “why?” and “how”. These it does by using unstructured data collection strategies to explore the impounding topic fully as in this case the topic of “smoking”. On the other hand, quantitative strategies are good at finding out the “what” of any issue or program. These are only achieved using standardized approaches designated using methods like interviews and surveys. In the case of the article on smoking, it can be, asserted it is only possible to justify numerical counts following reports resulting from quantitative research. The goal of this piece is to express ability to identify and describe different data collection strategies and to assess their strengths and weaknesses
Data Collection Strategies Used
The article clearly followed and used qualitative and quantitative strategies when gathering information for the smoking. Though it is evident, much of the information in the journal was, established with the use of qualitative strategies.
Quantitative data collection methods applied
The quantitative data collection methodologies apply the use of random samples and data collected with structured instruments to construct results that are easy to compare, summarize, and generalize. Holloway & Wheeler (2010), states one advantage about quantitative data collection strategies is their abilities to bring together diverse experiences to respond in predetermined categories. These makes quantitative research the perfect tool for testing and authenticating hypothesis. The hypothesis may be, picked up from theories and made it possible to measure or calculate approximately the size of a phenomenon interest. The main strategies used in acquiring data include administering questions through surveys. These may be closed or open questions. Mainly designed to be, relayed using a face-to-face interview, telephone interviews, CAPI (Computer Assisted personal Interviewing) or questionnaires, which would be paper pencil or web based. Similarly data can be, collected through clinical trials and experiments (Robson 2011). Other strategies used are observation and recording of data. In addition, data can also be obtained be attained from information systems collected from management departments or records department in hospitals and other relevant areas. Using these, understanding it is possible to see how these quantitative strategies had to be, used in order to accurately, reach some the conclusions in the smoking article. As an example to this statement, the article asserts that following studies it was possible to deduct that the smokers who talked to clinicians about quitting smoking had a higher chance of success. To reach such hypothetical deductions quantitative tools like questionnaires had to be, used. Similarly, as of the suggested tips for smoker’s clinical trials and experiments would have come in handy in determining what worked and what did not.
Qualitative methods used
While it cannot be, denied that, the quantitative strategies played a role in actualizing the dissemination of the final smoking journal article. Qualitative research comes in handy by making it possible to understand the phenomena of smoking within its context. Through qualitative research, the paper was able to create links to different concepts and behaviors in addition to generating more theory and participating in its refining process. In support of this Macnee & McCabe (2008), observes that qualitative research strategies play an important role of improving the quality of quantitative results and evaluations by making it possible to generate the conclusive hypothesis. These strengthen the design of the questionnaires used in the survey by clarifying and expanding the findings. In an article on smoking, the authors link medication to counseling and how, that helps smokers to quit. It is only by using qualitative research that such complex findings, as to how medication works together with counseling to defeat addiction can be, conclusively. Similarly, this applies in cases of proving how smoking leads to serious diseases like cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and infertility. While clinical trials must have played a part it is, only under the depths of qualitative analysis, can such finalized decisions, or perceptions concluded. These, include evaluation methods like in-depth interview, extensive document review and accelerated observation methods.
Strengths and Weaknesses of the Data Collection Strategies Used
Considering a mixed model of research was followed both the strengths and weaknesses of quantitative and qualitative research will be, evaluated. Additionally the strengths and weaknesses of data collection strategies will equally be, evaluated.
Quantitative research strategies make it possible to test and establish hypotheses created before data collection. Through validation and testing of already available theories, quantitative research makes it possible to know how phenomena occur (Macnee & McCabe, 2008). Even more revealing is the ability of generalizing research findings where data used is, founded on random sufficient sized samples. It can also be, stated quantitative researches are easy to replicate over huge populations, which can further be, divided into sub-populations providing quantitative precise numerical data. Robson (2011), adds that quantitative researchers are relatively faster and thus less time-consuming. However, perhaps their biggest strength is the independence of the results from the researchers in light of statistical significance. These factors give quantitative research credibility among people of power like politicians and administrators who in most cases fund such programs involved with large masses of people on an international and national spectrum.
One biggest weakness in quantitative analysis is the factor of phenomena. In most cases, researchers will often miss phenomena because of the great focus on hypothesis and theory testing a pointer known as “confirmation bias” rather than generation of hypothesis and theory. Similarly, there is the possibility that researchers picked theories and categories might be alien to the local constituencies failing to reflect the understanding of the picked or isolated local constituencies. Keeping with this Macnee & McCabe (2008), concerned states that quantitative theories in some cases may be, too general and abstract for clear, direct application to specific individuals, contexts and situations. However, perhaps it is the impossibility of remodeling the instruments used once the research begins making it possible to reach an erroneous research. Even more unfortunate is in the case where errors stated are subjects of a hypothesis procedural selection leading to erroneous misinterpretations and findings.
Qualitative research strategies offer a reliable environment for in-depth examinations. Holloway & Wheeler (2010), points out what makes qualitative research strategies even more credible are, that research or interviews are not, constructed to specific questions. Instead, the researcher can guide the question in real time basis adjacent to the needed answers. Additionally the possibility, that research can be, easily and quickly revised in the case of new information is a major strength. Qualitative research also makes the data retrieved from human experiences powerful and more compelling than quantitative data considering its in-depth abilities (Holloway & Wheeler 2010). In addition, complexities and subtleties to do with the research subjects are realized in most cases missed by other forms of enquiries. Similarly, data in qualitative research is in most cases collected from a few individuals or cases eliminating generalization making it possible to even to transfer findings to similar settings.
Perhaps one of the greatest demise of qualitative research is it relies heavily on the capabilities and skills of the individual researcher and can thus easily be subject to researchers individual idiosyncrasies and bias. Even more limiting is the fact that rigor is more difficult to attain and maintain, demonstrate or assess. Keeping with this Holloway & Wheeler (2010), asserts that one of the biggest demoralizing limitations of qualitative research is how much time it consumes to characterize findings in both visual and non-visual way. In addition to this qualitative research, methodologies face a serious issue of confidentiality and anonymity when presented with findings. Researcher’s presence during the process of data collection in qualitative research is unavoidable and can thus influence negatively on the responses of the subject. It is in the light of these disadvantages that perhaps the scientific community, find it difficult to understand and thus accept qualitative research.
Qualitative and quantitative strengths and weaknesses in relation to the study
New Data Collection Strategies Description
Following the two illustrative explanations on quantitative and qualitative methods of research it can be, concluded that the article on smoking would have been better been carried out on the premises of mixed research. It is evident that the authors lightly applied both strategies enabling them to reach and achieve the article. However, more rigor would have been visible, had the researchers relied on more than clinical trials and patient’s cases. Marrying the two strategies together would create reliability and conclude a rigorous conclusive study that could then be confident, disseminated.
The main construct of the study would have embodied, fully mixed method research or mixed model research. Perhaps the best methods to apply, would have been, the mixed method of research. Mixed method of research employs both a qualitative and quantitative phase in the research study. Benz & Newman (2008), observes it is like carrying out a quantitative and qualitative mini studies on the overall study. Mixed methods fall into major levels one is time order and the other is the emphasis on paradigm. Using, mixed methods it would be, possible to measure other dimensions visible or realizable within the same “time or paradigm”. For example, it would be possible to not only measure how much a smoker had smoked but also measure how much effect that had within that period and what that effect had resulted to within the same time. This way it would be possible to link and establish the time, the cause, the effect, and the impact of the effect on the pertained smoker.
New Data Collection Strategies Assessment
The first stage of using a mixed design involves checking whether the mixed research process is appropriate. The second stage of assessment involves checking the rationality of using in the research mixed design. The third stage involves choosing between a mixed model or mixed method research design. The fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth stage involve the collection, analysis, validation, interpretation and writing of the data to fit the premise of research report. Each of these stages allowed and ensure credible assessment of mixed strategies making the results to be, detailed and rigor enough an addition to any line of existing literature.
Mixed research strategies embroider the ability to bring in strengths from both qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Pictures, words and narratives can be used together to foster better meaning to numbers. Likewise, numbers can be, used to add precision to used pictures, words and narrations. These ensures research not only proves existing theories but also in tandem generates new applicable theories. However, it is the ability to provide stronger corroboration and convergent findings, which leads to more reliable evidence and conclusions. Benz & Newman (2008), notes qualitative and quantitative research produce complete information on learnt knowledge relating to practice and theory.
One of the most glaring weaknesses is the difficulty of carrying out mixed research. Mixed research difficulties demand more than one researcher involvement; considering the qualitative and quantitative research have to be concurrent. Benz & Newman (2008), states that a mixed model is still very new, and its horizons not fully explored. With these as a factor, methodological purists point state as such research should stay within one paradigm either quantitative or qualitative.
The availability of quantitative and qualitative research strategies are the ladder to discovery of the fact from theoretical and hypothetical opinions. The journal on smoking was evidently an establishment of both mixed partially with each strength aiding the dissemination of the resultant paper. However, there is a need to adapt to the newest mixed research model as it presents more rigor and detail leading to better-researched conclusion. Through these factors, the paper demonstrates the ability to identify and describe different data collection strategies and to assess their strengths and weaknesses.
Benz, C. & Newman, I. (2008). Mixed methods research: exploring the interactive continuum. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.
Holloway, I. & Wheeler, S. (2010). Qualitative research in nursing and healthcare. Chichester, West Sussex, U.K. Ames, Iowa: Wiley-Blackwell.
Macnee, C. & McCabe, S. (2008). Understanding nursing research : using research in evidence-based practice. Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
Robson, C. (2011). Real world research, 3rd ed. West Sussex, UK: John Wiley & Sons.