Collection of data is an important process in getting information regarding certain issues that need to be analyzed and reasons behind the actions identified. When collecting data, the source of the data is an important determinant of the means one would use to collect the information. The use of questionnaires is becoming one of the best ways of collecting data especially from sources located far away from the one collecting the data. The use of questionnaires employs two modes of data collection, which are the quantitative and qualitative data. The choice of the person collecting the data to use either or both methods to collect data depends on the kind of answers they need and the amount of information they require from the survey (Zikmund, 2003 p. 90).
Quantitative data collection methods seek to come up with information in form of numbers ans frequencies with no explanations required from the source. In the case of questionnaires, the person collecting the data will put his or her questions in a simple way where the he or she provides the answers in choices where the respondent will choose the answer they feel is right form the choices provided. This method of collecting data is simple and does not take long as the respondent reads the question and then identifies the best answer from the choices given in the questionnaire (Bryman & Bell, 2003 p. 87). This method is efficient for scientific and experimental approaches where limited or no explanations are required from the respondents. The information obtained using quantitative method is easy to analyze as the researcher has to go through the responses provided by the respondents and provides data that is highly reliable. During analysis of quantitative data, the researcher has an easy time in identifying the responses of the responses and checking to see whether all the questions were answered by doing a quick review of the questionnaires once the clinical staff sent back their responses.
Qualitative methods, on the other hand, are the collection of information form respondents where they provide descriptive responses to the questions. This form of data collection is commonly used in case studies and interviews where the person collecting the information is face to face with the respondent and can ask for clarification of obscure responses. The data collected may not be very reliable, but they are more valid as compared to that collected through quantitative methods. This is because they provide the researcher with in depth information through explanations end descriptions. When using this mode of data collection in a questionnaire, the researcher has to leave some space for the respondent to give his or her response (Bryman & Bell, 2003 p. 45). The respondent then answers the question by giving an in-depth of what he or she thinks about the questions and gives the possible remedies to the problem unlike with the quantitative method where they have a limited choice of words and their answers lie within those provided in the multiple choices. Analyzing this kind of data is a bit difficult; as the researcher has to read, the responses provide and infer what the response means. In some cases, the respondents may not provide clear answers to the questions or provide vague answers that are difficult to understand. There are cases where the respondents do not provide data that is relevant to the topic of discussion. This translates to wastage of time and resources because at the end of the day no meaningful data will be collected (Zikmund, 2003 p. 64).
In my research, I chose to use quantitative methods to design my questionnaire. I provided the respondent with multiple choices for the questions I asked. The reasons why I did this is because my research needed straightforward answers that would bring in uniform responses from the clinical staff. The clinical staff are busy people and do not have a lot of time to spend answering questions in qualitative form and I decided that the best way to get the information was to provide a short form where they would have to tick their answer using the shortest time possible. This way I would get quality and reliable data where all the respondents are able to answer the all the questions considering the time they need to go through and fill the questionnaire.
The nature of my questions also demanded I use quantitative methods of data collection because it did not require their personal reasons as to why they do not accept vaccination, but I was basically trying to get their responses on their knowledge of influenza vaccination. With the use of multiple choice questions and answers, I would be able to collect answers that were under the bracket of those I had provided and limited the staff form providing irrelevant answers through long explanation that has their opinion and reasons for not accepting vaccination. The other reason for taking quantitative method of data collection is the fact that my target population for the survey was busy people who have no time for interviews and the best way to collect data efficiently and effectively was with the use of questionnaires with close-ended questions and multiple choice answers (BarCharts, 2008 p. 87). This is because they do not take a long time to fill in. this would be convenient for me and for the staff, as no one would compromise the other’s work. the answers provided were uniform and the process of analyzing them was not difficult as it only involved checking the responses provided in the multiple choices and them doing and analysis on their knowledge of the influenza vaccination.
BarCharts, I 2008, Business research, Boca Raton: BarCharts, Inc..
Bryman, A & Bell, E 2003, Business research methods, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Zikmund, WG 2003, Business research methods (7th ed.), Mason, OH: Thomson/South-Western.