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Data Collection Methods for Various Scenarios


The paper aims to compare four ways of data collection, such as survey research, which involves a process of asking questions and analyzing responses, field research, which focuses on making observations, and secondary analysis of existing data, and triangulation, which refers to the combination of the methods. The author analyzed four scenarios and propose the most suitable data collection method. For instance, the author justified the survey research by describing police officers’ perceptions of the effectiveness of wearing body cameras, and field research for conducting a hot-spot analysis on 911 calls for domestic violence. In addition, a secondary analysis was selected for describing the prevalence of stalking in a small Midwest city, and triangulation for describing the nature and scope of prostitution at truck stops along I-95.

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Police Officer Perceptions on the Effectiveness of Wearing Body Cameras

The survey research is the most appropriate data collection method for describing police officers’ perceptions of the effectiveness of wearing body cameras. Taguchi (2018) illustrates that qualitative data obtained via surveys or interviews are naturalistic and surroundings-dependent. For instance, the secondary analysis of existing data or field research would not contribute to the research in comparison with the survey. The analysis of scenario 1 requires a personal opinion of the police officer based on his/her thoughts and experiences. Survey research enables the respondent to share detailed thoughts and opinions on the researched problem.

Hence, to conduct a successful survey, the researcher needs to formulate the right questions related to the issue and agree on a date with the police officer in advance. Consequently, choosing the right time, and being considerate, polite, and focused is essential. Through thoughtful and detailed questions, the researcher can learn and analyze the officer’s opinion, ideas, suggestions, and attitudes towards wearing body cameras.

A Hot-Spot Analysis of 911 Calls for Domestic Violence

Field research may be implemented to conduct a hot-spot analysis on 911 calls for domestic violence. Feld research relates to qualitative research, which “is about immersing oneself in a scene and trying to make sense of it” (Tracy, 2019, p. 3). In other words, the significant role of field research is to provide in-depth information. Queirós et al. (2017) state that field research is a data collection method for interpreting the behaviors and experiences of people. Therefore, field research is complicated and challenging when analyzing a big amount of people due to observations’ documenting difficulties.

To collect accurate information and make correct observations, the researcher must be on the spot. The researcher can analyze how many calls are received in a certain period, what kind of calls are of nature, and how often people need help and protection from domestic violence. It is also important to analyze the responses, guidance, and assistance offered by the rescue operators. Making observations is a suitable method of collecting data simultaneously with the event’s occurrence due to its flexibility and knowledge-obtaining orientation (Queirós et al., 2017).

Thus, field research is the most suitable method for scenario 2 because the researcher can observe the occurred situation in its natural conditions to understand the domestic violence issues in detail and interpret the behaviors.

The Prevalence of Stalking in a Small Midwest City

In the case of scenario 3, the secondary analysis may be conducted for describing the prevalence of stalking in a small Midwest city. Existing data, or, in other words, secondary data, refers to the data analysis method and review of secondary sources and investigations on an issue in a particular field of interest (Johnston, 2017). Essentially, secondary data analysis enables to use of the data, which was collected by someone else, to save time and facilitate the issue interpretation.

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In comparison, it will be complicated for the researcher to conduct surveys, as some victims of stalking may refuse to cooperate. The field research is also not suitable for this scenario, as the researcher will not be able to control and observe all cases of stalking. The logical solution would be to contact the police or specific organizations and request the existing data for conducting analysis. The advantage for the researcher is that the city is small, and finding additional information will be a simple mission. The existing data will provide necessary information on the prevalence of stalking cases over a particular period. Therefore, the researcher may start with the investigation of available sources of information to obtain valuable data about the prevalence of stalking in a small Midwest city. In addition, cooperation with specific organizations and the police will advance the research.

The Nature and Scope of Prostitution at Truck Stops

The combination of field research and secondary data, namely triangulation, is necessary to compare the current data from the observations and the secondary data. Triangulation is a data collection method, which merges observations, data sources, theories, and methods (Noble & Heale, 2019). Consequently, triangulation in research improves the reliability of findings and investigations. The researcher can complement the missing information by combining a few data collection methods (Lohr & Raghunathan, 2017). The triangulation provides an opportunity to analyze the situation and make future predictions.

For instance, the researcher will compare his primary data with the data obtained by other researchers during the past years. Thus, it will help to improve the quality of the research and support it with existing data on the nature and scope of prostitution.

A combination of the methods, such as survey research and secondary analysis, is suitable for scenario 4 to increase credibility and data validity. Lohr and Raghunathan (2017) emphasize that the survey information can be expanded by connecting this data with other sets of information, for instance, secondary data. Nevertheless, the triangulation process requires special skills and additional time due to its time consumption and complexity (Noble & Heale, 2019). Even though the triangulation is complex, the method applies to scenario 4. As a result, confidential survey research will assist in understanding the nature of prostitution, while the secondary analysis will provide accurate data on the scope of prostitution at truck stops along I-95.


The choice of a method for collecting information is one of the main tasks of any research. The researcher should carefully analyze the situation, the available resources, and the ability to provide a credible search. In some cases, it is possible to conduct a survey or field search, as, in others, only the secondary data can be analyzed. Moreover, if the researcher aims at an angular solution to the phenomena, it is recommended to combine several methods of collecting data.


Johnston, M. P. (2017). Secondary data analysis: A method of which the time has come. Qualitative and quantitative methods in libraries, 3(3), 619-626.

Lohr, S. L., & Raghunathan, T. E. (2017). Combining survey data with other data sources. Statistical Science, 32(2), 293-312. Web.

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Noble, H., & Heale, R. (2019). Triangulation in research, with examples. Evidence-Based Nursing, 22, 67-68. Web.

Queirós, A., Faria, D., & Almeida, F. (2017). Strengths and limitations of qualitative and quantitative research methods. European Journal of Education Studies, 3(9), 369-387. Web.

Taguchi, N. (2018). Description and explanation of pragmatic development: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research. System, 75, 23-32.

Tracy, S. J. (2019). Qualitative research methods: Collecting evidence, crafting analysis, communicating impact. John Wiley & Sons.

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