After aligning the plan for data collection, the data should be collected. Research aims to collect large volumes of data in order to minimize error and increase the accuracy of the data and that is what a researcher should always consider. The population has already been determined and the sampling done, and so what remains is the data collection procedure which involves instruments such as surveys, interviews, data recording and observation (Winsett and Cashion 2007, p. 641). In the example used above, the researcher would use a well set questionnaire to measure the nutrition content that the students in the campus have and at the same time perform a physical exam that would determine whether they have eating disorders like being overweight and obese (Gerrish 2006, p. 44). It is also at this point that the ethical considerations come in in the sense of the privacy of the interviewees. The questions should be made voluntary rather than compulsory and that the client's value should always be considered at all times (Vandoolaeghe et al. 2015, 2).
After the data has been collected, analysis is the next logical step and this implies the studying of the vast data collected in order to determine the relationships between the variables. In the data collected lies the answers and solutions that the researcher was searching for when the project began. There are several instruments that could be used including software like the SPSS which could be used to perform a detailed analysis of the data and provide the necessary inferences (Stanley 2001, p. 90). The correlation between the two variables could be calculated in order to determine whether it is worth considering any cause-effect relation between the level of knowledge and the increased eating disorders.
Data refers to the raw fact and figures that are meaningless. The analysis stage however changes that and transform the data into meaningful information which can be used to deduce conclusions regarding the research question and hypothesis. The data acquired could be qualitative which implies the strings of text or quantitative data that is integers (Chang et al. 2012, p. 3206). The qualitative data could be used to generate the relations between the variables but the quantitative data offers a clearer perspective by offering the chance to narrow down the errors that would otherwise be assumed by the former category of data type. The information retrieved after the data analysis would also be of the same nature, numeric or text. Such data would be varied but helpful in many ways to understanding the information from the study. This brings us to the next stage after data analysis which is data representation.
The data acquired from the analysis stage would be represented in the form of charts and graphics in a bid to try and provide an easier understanding of the new found data. The data would be used to calculate several inferences that are necessary in the extrapolating and understanding of the data. The information can be used to provide an enlightenment of what the situation is in the whole population (Kuhlthau 1994, p. 101). The use of pie charts would provide an insight in the rate of proliferation of eating disorders and the determined levels of knowledge in nutrition (Kang et al. 2013, p. 282). The use of the correlation graph would also provide the existing relations between the data.
The information should be simplified and meaningful after the analysis stage in the sense that the researcher should be able to make out the head and the tail. The discussion stage of the research project simply implies illuminating on the data collected and analyzed. It is at this stage that the researcher would try to merge the results with the scientific literature and try to prove the existing theories and frameworks (Johnson 1997, p. 12). Therefore, the information that would be retrieved after the data analysis stage would be coupled with the existing science and proofs in order to try and explain the phenomenon that was being investigated. For instance, the example used earlier implies the collection of data from the campus population and after which it would be analyzed. The information gained would be merged with scientific literature trying to explain why the little knowledge that the students have would result in eating disorders.
Discussing the data is followed by the conclusion which is basically the deduction from the discussion and the results obtained. This is the point of the project where the researcher would try to provide the answers or solutions and recommendations to the readers of the report (Wallen and Fraenkel 2000, p. 139). The fact that the project was able to push through, the various challenges and delimitations that the project has faced in its progressed should be discussed in the conclusion of the project. Some of the challenges that the data collection faces are outlined for the readers to put them in perspective and for the future researchers in the same field to look out for when they perform a similar research. It is after the conclusion that the researcher would provide the recommendations to the relevant parties to solve a problem like in the example above, the management of the school campus would be given some of the solutions to the challeng...
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