“Breaking Down Barriers: The Best Art and Science of Language Translation”

Language Translation

Introduction: In our interconnected global society, Language Translation serves as a bridge that connects individuals, communities, and cultures. However, linguistic diversity can present challenges, hindering effective communication. Language translation, a discipline that has evolved significantly in recent years, plays a pivotal role in overcoming these barriers. In this comprehensive blog, we will explore the intricate … Read more

Unveiling the Art and Science of Data Collection: A Comprehensive Exploration

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https://24x7outsourcing.com/navigating-the-seas-of-big-data-challenges-and/Ai data collection 24x7offshoring Introduction: In the ever-evolving landscape of technology and business, data collection has become the lifeblood of decision-making processes. From market research to healthcare, education to finance, the significance of data collection cannot be overstated. In this blog, we will embark on a journey to unravel the intricacies of data collection, exploring … Read more

How to best communicate the results of your data collection to stakeholders?

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How to best communicate the results of your data collection to stakeholders?

data collection

Data Collection

Data collection is a systematic process of gathering observations or measurements. Whether you are performing research for business, governmental or academic purposes, data collection allows you to gain first-hand knowledge and original insights into your research problem.

While methods and aims may differ between fields, the overall process of data collection remains largely the same. Before you begin collecting data, you need to consider:

  • The aim of the research
  • The type of data that you will collect
  • The methods and procedures you will use to collect, store, and process the data

To collect high-quality data that is relevant to your purposes, follow these four steps.

How to effectively communicate the results of the employee engagement report? (with examples)

You did a survey on employee engagement, perfect! 

You are already measuring your staff’s commitment to your mission, the team, and their role within the company.

But what are you going to do with the results you get from their contributions? 

And most importantly, how will you move from reporting on employee engagement to meeting your staff’s desires for professional growth?

Are you still struggling to find the answers?

Our guide is for you. We have put together practical tips and examples that will allow you to:

  • Know exactly what to do with employee engagement survey data.
  • Make sense of what that data reveals.
  • Excellence in communicating engagement survey results.

The importance  of employee engagement  for companies

First things first: the relevance and impact of an employee engagement report goes beyond the borders of HR. Of course, measuring engagement is a People Ops function. And it’s also one of the trends in employee engagement: actively listening to determine whether workers are thriving.

But a survey report  on employee engagement  transcends concerns about team members’ aspirations. It’s a tool full of insightful information that C-suite executives need to understand how healthy and robust their workforce is.

And that is a strategic question. Because there is no way to drive business results without engaged and enthusiastic staff.

Employee engagement drives productivity, performance, and a positive workplace. 

How to analyze  your employee engagement data

Let’s consider that you already know how to design an employee engagement survey and set your goals. 

Therefore, now we will focus on analyzing the results obtained when carrying out the study.

The first important tip is to prepare the analysis in advance. To do this, put in place the mechanisms to quantify and segment the data.

Use numerical scales, scores and percentages

Use numerical scales and convert responses to numerical values ​​whenever you can in your engagement survey. 

You will see that comparing the data will not cause you a big headache. 

This is because numbers are much less prone to misinterpretation than the opinion of your staff in free text.

Consider qualitative contributions

Although quantitative data is objective, qualitative data must also be analyzed. Because, sometimes, it is not easy to put thoughts and feelings into figures. And without data, it would be impossible to draw conclusions about employee motivation, attitudes, and challenges.

For example, if you ask people to rate their satisfaction with their team from 1 to 5, a number other than five won’t tell you much. But if you ask them to write down the reason for their incomplete satisfaction, you’ll get the gist of their complaint or concern.

Segment the groups of respondents

Without a doubt, your workers are divided into different groups according to different criteria. And that translates into different perceptions of their jobs, their colleagues and their organization.

To find out, segment the engagement survey results while keeping the responses anonymous. 

Assure your employees of their anonymity and ask them to indicate their:

  • age;
  • gender;
  • department and team;
  • tenure;
  • whether they are junior, intermediate or senior;
  • your executive level (manager, director, vice president or C-level).

Read the consensus

In this step the real action of the analysis begins. 

If you’ve followed our recommendations for quantifying (and segmenting) survey data, you’ll be ready to determine precisely what they’re trying to tell you.

In general terms, if most or all of your staff express the same opinion on an issue, you need to investigate the issue and improve something. 

On the other hand, if only a few people are unhappy with the same issue, it may not be necessary to address it so thoroughly.

It all depends on the importance of the topic for the business and the proper functioning of the team and the company. And it’s up to stakeholders to decide whether it’s worth putting effort into finding out what’s behind the results.

Cross data

Engagement levels  are not always related to staff’s position, teams or your company. Instead, those levels may have to do with other factors, such as salary or benefits package, to name a couple.

And it’s up to you to combine engagement survey data with data from other sources.

Therefore, consider the information in your HR management system when reviewing the results of your engagement.

Additionally, evaluate engagement data against business information. 

This is information that you can extract from your ERP system that is closely related to business results.

data

Compare results

The ultimate goal of analyzing engagement survey data is to uncover critical areas for improvement. And to do this as comprehensively as possible, you should compare your current engagement survey results with

  • The results of your previous engagement surveys to understand the engagement levels of your organization, departments and teams over time.
  • The  results of national and global surveys on engagement, especially those of other companies in your sector with a similar activity to yours.

And these are the perceptions to look for:

  • Why is your organization performing better or worse than before?
  • Why do certain departments and teams perform better or worse than before?
  • Why does your company perform better or worse than similar ones in your country or abroad?

How to organize data in your  employee engagement  report

An employee engagement survey report should shed light on how engagement affects the performance of your company and your staff. 

But a report like this is useless if you do not organize the data it contains well. Let’s see how.

First of all, you must keep in mind the objective of the survey. That is developing an action plan to improve the areas with the greatest positive impact on your employee engagement levels.

So keep in mind that traditionally some areas score low in any organization. We’re talking pay and benefits,  career progression  , and workplace politics, to name a few.

But as a general rule, you should prioritize areas where your company scored poorly compared to industry benchmarks. Those are the ones most likely:

  • Generate positive ROI once you improve them.
  • Promote improvement of all other areas of the  employee experience .

Typically, the most impactful areas are:

  • Appreciation to employees;
  • Response to proactive employees;
  • Employee participation in decision making;
  • Communication with leaders.

But it might suggest other areas to focus on.

Now, you need to conveniently organize the survey results in your employee engagement report. 

In other words, you must disclose the commitment figures:

  • for the entire company;
  • by department;
  • by team;
  • by age and sex;
  • by possession;
  • by executive level;
  • by seniority;
  • by period (current month, quarter or year versus the previous one);
  • by region (within your country, in your foreign locations and in comparison to national and global benchmarks in your sector);
  • any combination of the above that makes sense, such as by gender and team or by age and department.

And to identify areas for improvement, you should display the survey data by those areas within each of the divisions above. We recommend that you convert these divisions into distinct sections of the document.

We also recommend using media to visualize results, such as charts and graphs. 

For example, use:

  • Bar charts: to identify trends over time.
  • Line graphs: to compare this year’s data with last year’s data.
  • Callout Charts: To highlight surprising figures or conclusions.

These visuals will help stakeholders objectively understand and analyze the results of the employee engagement report. But most importantly, visualization makes it easy to prioritize areas for improvement and provides actionable results.

Good practices for communicating engagement survey results

After collecting and analyzing employee engagement survey data, it’s time to share it within the company.

And here are our tips for communicating engagement survey results to your employees and leaders.

 3 Tips for Sharing Employee Engagement Survey Results with Employees

Immediately after completing the employee engagement survey, the CEO should make a communication to the entire company. Alternatively, the VP of HR or a senior HR leader can do this.

And in that communication, they make a recognition.

Thank employees for participating in the study

Your boss – if not yourself – can do this via email or in an all-hands meeting. 

But it’s essential that you thank employees as soon as the survey closes. And in addition to saying thank you, the leader must reaffirm his commitment to take engagement to higher levels.

Advise them to appreciate employees’ dedication to helping improve your organizational culture. This will convey the message that employee opinion is valuable, which in itself has a positive impact on engagement.

Briefly present the commitment data you have obtained

One week after closing the survey, your leader should share an overview of the results with the organization. Again, an email or company-wide meeting is all it takes.

The summary should include participation statistics and a summary of the main results (best and worst figures). 

This time is also a great opportunity for your leader to explain what employees should expect next. And one way to set expectations is to outline the action plan.

However, their leader cannot provide many details at this time. 

The first communication of employee engagement results should focus on numbers with a broader impact. 

In other words, it is an occasion to focus on the effect of data at the organizational level.

overview

Report complete engagement data and plan improvements

Three weeks after the survey closes, HR and leaders – team leaders and other executives – must get to work:

  • Carefully review the results.
  • Detail the action plan: the areas of improvement you will address and the engagement initiatives you will implement. 

Once key stakeholders have decided on the action plan, it’s time to communicate all the details to employees. 

The deadline should be no later than one or two months after the survey closes.

3 Tips for Sharing Engagement Survey Results with Leaders and Key Stakeholders

Once the results of the engagement survey are obtained, the first step is to share them with the management team. These are our main recommendations on how to approach this task.

There is no need to rush when deciding what to do with the data.

Give your leaders time to review the engagement data, digest it, and think carefully about it. 

We recommend this calendar:

  • One week after the survey closes, before communicating high-level results.
  • Three weeks after completing the survey, before we begin to thoroughly discuss the data and delve into the action plan.
  • One or two months after the survey closes, before communicating detailed results.

Increasing the engagement levels of your employees is a process of change. And as with any corporate change, internalizing it does not happen overnight. Additionally, your leaders are the ones who must steer the helm of change, so they need time to prepare.

Emphasize the end goal and fuel the dialogue

The process of scrutinizing engagement data starts with you. Introduce your leaders:

  • the overall employee engagement score;
  • company-wide trends;
  • department-specific trends;
  • strengths and weaknesses (or opportunities).

Leaders must clearly understand what organizational culture is being pursued. 

And the survey results will help them figure out what’s missing. 

So make sure you communicate this mindset to them.

Next, as you discuss the data in depth, you should promote an open dialogue. Only then will your leaders agree on an effective action plan to increase engagement levels.

Don’t sweep problems under the rug

You can’t increase employee engagement without transparency. And you play a role in it too. 

You should share the fantastic results and painful numbers from your engagement survey with your leaders.

Reporting alarming discoveries is mandatory for improvement. 

After all, how could you improve something without fully understanding and dissecting it? 

Additionally, investigating negative ratings and comments is ultimately a win-win for both workers and the company.

 Real Examples of Employee  Engagement Reports

Here are four employee engagement reports that caught our attention. We’ll investigate why they did it and what you can learn from them.

1. New Mexico Department of Environment

The New Mexico  Department of Environment’s  engagement report  : 

1. Start with a  message from a senior leader  in your organization, providing:

  • The overall response rate;
  • The overall level of commitment;
  • Some areas for improvement;
  • A reaffirmation of senior management’s commitment to addressing employee feedback.

2. Use  graphs  to highlight the most interesting conclusions.

3. Breaks down the figures from an  overview to  year-on-year  highs  and lows  by department and survey section

4.  Compare  your employees’ level of engagement  to a national benchmark.

5. Includes information on the   organization’s  commitment actions throughout the year prior to the survey.

6.  Demographic breakdown of respondents .

7. Clarify  next steps for  your  leaders  and how employees can participate.

8. Discloses an appendix containing  year-over-year scores  for all survey questions that used a numerical scale.

Note:  The year-over-year comparison allows this organization to identify trends in employee engagement.

2. GitLab

The  GitLab Commit Report :

  • Explain how survey responses   will  be kept  confidential .
  • List  the areas of interest for the survey.
  • Shows a  chronology of the actions that the company carried out around the survey.
  • Clarify the  steps that will follow after closing the survey.
  • It presents the  global response rate, the global commitment level and an industry benchmark.
  • Thank you  employees for  participating  in the survey.
  • It reveals the  top-ranked responses in the three main areas of interest  and compares them to the industry benchmark.
  • Highlight  areas that require improvement.

👀  Note:  The calendar with the survey actions may seem insignificant. However, it is an element of  transparency that generates trust among readers of the report.

3. UCI Irvine Human Resources

The  University of California  HR  Employee Engagement Report  :

  1. Start by  justifying why employee engagement is important  to workplace culture and various stakeholders.
  2. Defines the  responsibilities of everyone  involved in engaging those stakeholders.
  3. Remember the  results of the previous employee engagement survey  and set them as  a reference .
  4. Compare the  most recent survey results with the baseline figures.
  5. Distinguishes engaged, disengaged, and actively disengaged staff members  between previous and most recent data by organizational unit.
  6. Lists new opportunities  that the department should address  and strengths that it should continue to explore.
  7. It presents a  timeline of the phased engagement program  and some planned actions.
  8. Describes the next steps  leaders should take with their team members.

👀 Note:  The report notes that the figures vary between the two editions of the survey because the HR department encouraged staff participation instead of forcing it.

4. UCI Riverside Chancellor’s Office

The  University of California,  Riverside  Office of the Chancellor’s  Employee Engagement Report :

  1. Contains  instructions on  how scores were calculated .
  2. Compare employee engagement survey results  to different types of references , from previous survey results to national numbers.
  3. Highlights issues  that represent a  priority  for the organization.
  4. Distinguish the  level of statistical significance that each number has , clarifying the extent to which they are significant.
  5. Describe  the suggested actions  in some detail.
  6. It groups scores by category – such as professional development or performance management -, role – such as manager or director -, gender, ethnicity, seniority and salary range.
  7. Break down the scores  within each category.
  8. Shows the  total percentage of employees at each engagement level , from highly engaged, empowered and energized to disengaged.
  9. It concludes with the  main drivers of commitment , such as the promotion of social well-being.

 Note:  The document is very visual and relies on colors to present data. While this appeals to most readers, it makes it less inclusive and compromises organization-wide interpretation.

Now that you know how to analyze your survey data and organize your engagement report, learn how to create an  employee engagement program .

 

What considerations are taken into account for the best longitudinal data collection?

Global

What considerations are taken into account for the best longitudinal data collection?

data collection

 

Data Collection

Data collection is a systematic process of gathering observations or measurements. Whether you are performing research for business, governmental or academic purposes, data collection allows you to gain first-hand knowledge and original insights into your research problem.

While methods and aims may differ between fields, the overall process of data collection remains largely the same. Before you begin collecting data, you need to consider:

  • The aim of the research
  • The type of data that you will collect
  • The methods and procedures you will use to collect, store, and process the data

To collect high-quality data that is relevant to your purposes, follow these four steps.

LONGITUDINAL STUDIES: CONCEPT AND PARTICULARITIES

WHAT IS A LONGITUDINAL STUDY?

 The discussion about the meaning of the term longitudinal was summarized by Chin in 1989: for epidemiologists it is synonymous with a cohort or follow-up study, while for some statisticians it implies repeated measurements. He himself decided not to define the term longitudinal, as it was difficult to find a concept acceptable to everyone, and chose to consider it equivalent to “monitoring”, the most common thought for professionals of the time.

The longitudinal study in epidemiology

In the 1980s it was very common to use the term longitudinal to simply separate cause from effect. As opposed to the transversal term. Miettinen defines it as a study whose basis is the experience of the population over time (as opposed to a section of the population). Consistent with this idea, Rothman, in his 1986 text, indicates that the word longitudinal denotes the existence of a time interval between exposure and the onset of the disease. Under this meaning, the case-control study, which is a sampling strategy to represent the experience of the population over time (especially under Miettinen’s ideas), would also be a longitudinal study.

Likewise, Abramson agrees with this idea, who also differentiates longitudinal descriptive studies (studies of change) from longitudinal analytical studies, which include case-control studies. Kleinbaum et al. likewise define the term longitudinal as opposed to transversal but, with a somewhat different nuance, they speak of “longitudinal experience” of a population (versus “transversal experience”) and for them it implies the performance of at least two series of observations over a follow-up period. The latter authors exclude case-control studies. Kahn and Sempos also do not have a heading for these studies and in the keyword index, the entry “longitudinal study” reads “see prospective study.”

This is reflected in the Dictionary of Epidemiology directed by Last, which considers the term “longitudinal study” as synonymous with cohort study or follow-up study. In Breslow and Day’s classic text on cohort studies, the term longitudinal is considered equivalent to cohort and is used interchangeably. However, Cook and Ware defined the longitudinal study as one in which the same individual is observed on more than one occasion and differentiated it from follow-up studies, in which individuals are followed until the occurrence of an event such as death. death or illness (although this event is already the second observation).

longitudinal

Since 1990, several texts consider the term longitudinal equivalent to other names, although most omit it. A reflection of this is the book co-edited by Rothman and Greenland, in which there is no specific section for longitudinal studies within the chapters dedicated to design, and the Encyclopedia of Epidemiological Methods also coincides with this trend, which does not offer a specific entry for this type of studies.

The fourth edition of Last’s Dictionary of Epidemiology reproduces his entry from previous editions. Gordis considers it synonymous with a concurrent prospective cohort study. Aday partially follows Abramson’s ideas, already mentioned, and differentiates descriptive studies (several cross-sectional studies sequenced over time) from analytical ones, among which are prospective or longitudinal cohort studies.

In other fields of clinical medicine, the longitudinal sense is considered opposite to the transversal and is equated with cohort, often prospective. This is confirmed, for example, in publications focused on the field of menopause.

The longitudinal study in statistics

Here the ideas are much clearer: a longitudinal study is one that involves more than two measurements throughout a follow-up; There must be more than two, since every cohort study has this number of measurements, the one at the beginning and the one at the end of follow-up. This is the concept existing in the aforementioned text by Goldstein from 1979. In that same year Rosner was explicit when indicating that longitudinal data imply repeated measurements on subjects over time, proposing a new analysis procedure for this type of data. . Since that time, articles in statistics journals (for example) and texts are consistent in the same concept.

Two reference works in epidemiology, although they do not define longitudinal studies in the corresponding section, coincide with the prevailing statistical notion. In the book co-directed by Rothman and Greenland, in the chapter Introduction to regression modeling, Greenland himself states that longitudinal data are repeated measurements on subjects over a period of time and that they can be carried out for exposures. time-dependent (e.g., smoking, alcohol consumption, diet, or blood pressure) or recurrent outcomes (e.g., pain, allergy, depression, etc.).

In the Encyclopedia of Epidemiological Methods, the “sample size” entry includes a “longitudinal studies” section that provides the same information provided by Greenland.

It is worth clarifying that the statistical view of a “longitudinal study” is based on a particular data analysis (taking repeated measures into account) and that the same would be applicable to intervention studies, which also have follow-up.

To conclude this section, in the monographic issue of  Epidemiologic Reviews  dedicated to cohort studies, Tager, in his article focused on the outcome variable of cohort studies, broadly classifies cohort studies into two large groups, ” life table” and “longitudinal”, clarifying that this classification is something “artificial”. The first are the conventional ones, in which the result is a discrete variable, the exposure and the population-time are summarized, incidences are estimated and the main measure is the relative risk.

"artificial"

The latter incorporate a different analysis, taking advantage of repeated measurements in subjects over time, allowing inference, in addition to population, at the individual level in the changes of a process over time or in the transitions between different states. of health and illness.

The previous ideas denote that in epidemiology there is a tendency to avoid the concept of longitudinal study. However, summarizing the ideas discussed above, the notion of longitudinal study refers to a cohort study in which more than two measurements are made over time and in which an analysis is carried out that takes into account the different measurements. . The three key elements are: monitoring, more than two measures and an analysis that takes them into account. This can be done prospectively or retrospectively, and the study can be observational or interventional.

PARTICULARITIES OF LONGITUDINAL STUDIES

When measuring over time,  quality control  plays an essential role. It must be ensured that all measurements are carried out in a timely manner and with standardized techniques. The long duration of some studies requires special attention to changes in personnel, deterioration of equipment, changes in technologies, and inconsistencies in participant responses over time.

There is a  greater probability of dropout  during follow-up. The factors involved in this are several:

* The definition of a population according to an unstable criterion. For example, living in a specific geographic area may cause participants with changes of address to be ineligible in later phases.

* It will be greater when, in the case of responders who are not contacted once, no further attempts are made to establish contact in subsequent phases of the follow-up.

* The object of the study influences; For example, in a political science study those not interested in politics will drop out more.

* The amount of personal attention devoted to responders. Telephone and letter interviews are less personal than those conducted face to face, and are not used to strengthen ties with the study.

* The time invested by the responder in satisfying the researchers’ demand for information. The higher it is, the greater the frequency of abandonments.

* The frequency of contact can also play a role, although not everyone agrees. There are studies that have documented that an excess of contacts impairs follow-up, while others have either found no relationship or it is negative.

To avoid dropouts, it is advisable to establish strategies to retain and track participating members. The willingness to participate should be assessed at the beginning and what is expected of the participants. Bridges must be established with the participants by sending congratulatory letters, study updates, etc.

The frequency of contact must be regular. Study staff must be enthusiastic, easy to communicate, respond quickly and appropriately to participants’ problems, and adaptable to their needs. We must not disdain giving incentives that motivate continuation in the study.

Thirdly, another major problem compared to other cohort studies is the  existence of missing data . If a participant is required to have all measurements made, it can produce a problem similar to dropouts during follow-up. For this purpose, techniques for imputation of missing values ​​have been developed and, although it has been suggested that they may not be necessary if generalized estimating equations (GEE analysis) are applied, it has been proven that other procedures give better results, even when the losses are completely random.

Frequently, information losses are differential and more measurements are lost in patients with a worse level of health. It is recommended in these cases that data imputation be done taking into account the existing data of the individual who is missing.

Analysis

In the analysis of longitudinal studies it is possible to treat time-dependent covariates that can both influence the exposure under study and be influenced by it (variables that simultaneously behave as confounders and intermediate between exposure and effect). Also, in a similar way, it allows controlling recurring results that can act on the exposure and be caused by it (they behave both as confounders and effects).

Longitudinal analysis can be used when there are measurements of the effect and/or exposure at different moments in time. Suppose that the relationship between a dependent variable Y is a function of a variable , which is expressed according to the following equation :

Y it  = bx it  + z i a + e it

where the subscript  i  refers to the individual, the t at the moment of time and e is an error term (Z does not change as it is stable and that is why it has a single subscript). The existence of several measurements allows us to estimate the coefficient b without needing to know the value of the stable variable, by performing a regression of the difference in the effect (Y) on the difference in values ​​of the independent variables:

Y it  – Y i1  = b(x it  – x i1  ) + a( z i  – z i  ) +
+ e it  – e i1  = b( x it  – x i1  ) + e it  – e i1

That is, it is not necessary to know the value of the time-independent (or stable) variables over time. This is an advantage over other analyses, in which these variables must be known. The above model is easily generalizable to a multivariate vector of factors changing over time.

The longitudinal analysis is carried out within the context of generalized linear models and has two objectives: to adopt conventional regression tools, in which the effect is related to the different exposures and to take into account the correlation of the measurements between subjects. This last aspect is very important. Suppose you analyze the effect of growth on blood pressure; The blood pressure values ​​of a subject in the different tests performed depend on the initial or basal value and therefore must be taken into account.

For example, longitudinal analysis could be performed in a childhood cohort in which vitamin A deficiency (which can change over time) is assessed as the main exposure over the risk of infection (which can be multiple over time). , controlling the influence of age, weight and height (time-dependent variables). The longitudinal analysis can be classified into three large groups.

a) Marginal models: they combine the different measurements (which are slices in time) of the prevalence of the exposure to obtain an average prevalence or other summary measure of the exposure over time, and relate it to the frequency of the disease . The longitudinal element is age or duration of follow-up in the regression analysis. The coefficients of this type of models are transformed into a population prevalence ratio; In the example of vitamin A and infection it would be the prevalence of infection in children with vitamin A deficiency divided by the prevalence of infection in children without vitamin A deficiency.

b) Transition models regress the present result on past values ​​and on past and present exposures. An example of them are Markov models. The model coefficients are directly transformed into a quotient of incidences, that is, into RRs; In the example it would be the RR of vitamin A deficiency on infection.

c) Random effects models allow each individual to have unique regression parameters, and there are procedures for standardized results, binary, and person-time data. The model coefficients are transformed into an odds ratio referring to the individual, which is assumed to be constant throughout the population; In the example it would be the odds of infection in a child with vitamin A deficiency versus the odds of infection in the same child without vitamin A deficiency.

Linear, logistic, Poisson models, and many survival analyzes can be considered particular cases of generalized linear models. There are procedures that allow late entries or at different times and unequally in the observation of a cohort.

In addition to the parametric models indicated in the previous paragraph, analysis using non-parametric methods is possible; For example, the use of functional analysis with  splines  has recently been reviewed.

Several specific texts on longitudinal data analysis have been mentioned. One of them even offers examples with the routines to write to correctly carry out the analysis using different conventional statistical packages (STATA, SAS, SPSS).

What are the best 5 common data collection instruments?

Financial

 

What are the best 5 common data collection instruments?

data collection

Data Collection

In the age when information is power, how we gather that information should be one of our major concerns, right? Also, which of the many data collection methods is the best for your particular needs? Whatever the answer to the two questions above, one thing is for sure – whether you’re an enterprise, organization, agency, entrepreneur, researcher, student, or just a curious individual, data gathering needs to be one of your top priorities.

Still, raw data doesn’t always have to be particularly useful. Without proper context and structure, it’s just a set of random facts and figures after all. However, if you organize, structure, and analyze data obtained from different sources, you’ve got yourself a powerful “fuel” for your decision-making.

Data collection is defined as the “process of gathering and measuring information on variables of interest, in an established systematic fashion that enables one to answer queries, stated research questions, test hypotheses, and evaluate outcomes.”

It is estimated that, by 2025, the total volume of data created and consumed worldwide will reach 163 zettabytes. That being said, there are numerous reasons for data collection, but here we are going to focus primarily on those relevant to marketers and small business owners:

  • It helps you learn more about your target audience by collecting demographic information
  • It enables you to discover trends in the way people change their opinions and behavior over time or in different circumstances
  • It lets you segment your audience into different customer groups and direct different marketing strategies at each of the groups based on their individual needs
  • It facilitates decision making and improves the quality of decisions made
  • It helps resolve issues and improve the quality of your product or service based on the feedback obtained

According to Clario, global top collectors of personal data among social media apps are:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • TikTok
  • Clubhouse
  • Twitter

And given how successfull they are when it comes to meeting their users’ needs and interests, it is safe to say that streamlined and efficient data collection process is at the core of any serious business in 2023.

Before we dive deeper into different data collection techniques and methods, let’s just briefly differentiate between the two main types of data collection – primary and secondary.

Primary vs. Secondary Data Collection

Primary data collection

Primary data (also referred to as raw data) is the data you collect first-hand, directly from the source. In this case, you are the first person to interact with and draw conclusions from such data, which makes it more difficult to interpret it.

According to reasearch, about 80% of all collected data by 2025. will be unstructured. In other words, unstructured daza collected as primary data but nothing meaningful has been done with it. Unstructured data needs to be organized and analyzed if it’s going to be used as in-depth fuel for decision-making.

Secondary data collection

Secondary data represents information that has already been collected, structured, and analyzed by another researcher. If you are using books, research papers, statistics, survey results that were created by someone else, they are considered to be secondary data.

Secondary data collection is much easier and faster than primary. But, on the other hand, it’s often very difficult to find secondary data that’s 100% applicable to your own situation, unlike primary data collection, which is in most cases done with a specific need in mind.

Some examples of secondary data include census data gathered by the US Census Bureau, stock prices data published by Nasdaq, employment and salaries data posted on Glassdoor, all kinds of statistics on Statista, etc. Further along the line, both primary and secondary data can be broken down into subcategories based on whether the data is qualitative or quantitative.

Quantitative vs. Qualitative data

Quantitative Data

This type of data deals with things that are measurable and can be expressed in numbers or figures, or using other values that express quantity. That being said, quantitative data is usually expressed in numerical form and can represent size, length, duration, amount, price, and so on.

Quantitative research is most likely to provide answers to questions such as who? when? where? what? and how many?

Quantitative survey questions are in most cases closed-ended and created in accordance with the research goals, thus making the answers easily transformable into numbers, charts, graphs, and tables.

The data obtained via quantitative data collection methods can be used to conduct market research, test existing ideas or predictions, learn about your customers, measure general trends, and make important decisions.

For instance, you can use it to measure the success of your product and which aspects may need improvement, the level of satisfaction of your customers, to find out whether and why your competitors are outselling you, or any other type of research.

As quantitative data collection methods are often based on mathematical calculations, the data obtained that way is usually seen as more objective and reliable than qualitative. Some of the most common quantitative data collection techniques include surveys and questionnaires (with closed-ended questions).

Compared to qualitative techniques, quantitative methods are usually cheaper and it takes less time to gather data this way. Plus, due to a pretty high level of standardization, it’s much easier to compare and analyze the findings obtained using quantitative data collection methods.

Qualitative Data

Unlike quantitative data, which deals with numbers and figures, qualitative data is descriptive in nature rather than numerical. Qualitative data is usually not easily measurable as quantitative and can be gained through observation or open-ended survey or interview questions.

Qualitative research is most likely to provide answers to questions such as “why?” and “how?”

As mentioned, qualitative data collection methods are most likely to consist of open-ended questions and descriptive answers and little or no numerical value. Qualitative data is an excellent way to gain insight into your audience’s thoughts and behavior (maybe the ones you identified using quantitative research, but weren’t able to analyze in greater detail).

Data obtained using qualitative data collection methods can be used to find new ideas, opportunities, and problems, test their value and accuracy, formulate predictions, explore a certain field in more detail, and explain the numbers obtained using quantitative data collection techniques.

As quantitative data collection methods usually do not involve numbers and mathematical calculations but are rather concerned with words, sounds, thoughts, feelings, and other non-quantifiable data, qualitative data is often seen as more subjective, but at the same time, it allows a greater depth of understanding.

Some of the most common qualitative data collection techniques include open-ended surveys and questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, observation, case studies, and so on.

Quantitative vs. Qualitative data

5 Data Collection Methods

Before we dive deeper into different data collection tools and methods – what are the 5 methods of data collection? Here they are:

  • Surveys, quizzes, and questionnaires
  • Interviews
  • Focus groups
  • Direct observations
  • Documents and records (and other types of secondary data, which won’t be our main focus here)

Data collection methods can further be classified into quantitative and qualitative, each of which is based on different tools and means.

Quantitative data collection methods

1. Closed-ended Surveys and Online Quizzes

Closed-ended surveys and online quizzes are based on questions that give respondents predefined answer options to opt for. There are two main types of closed-ended surveys – those based on categorical and those based on interval/ratio questions.

Categorical survey questions can be further classified into dichotomous (‘yes/no’), multiple-choice questions, or checkbox questions and can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no” or a specific piece of predefined information.

Interval/ratio questions, on the other hand, can consist of rating-scale, Likert-scale, or matrix questions and involve a set of predefined values to choose from on a fixed scale. To learn more, we have prepared a guide on different types of closed-ended survey questions.

Once again, these types of data collection methods are a great choice when looking to get simple and easily analyzable counts, such as “85% of respondents said surveys are an effective means of data collection” or “56% of men and 61% of women have taken a survey this year” (disclaimer: made-up stats).

If you’d like to create something like this on your own, learn more about how to make the best use of our survey maker.

It lets you segment your audience into different customer groups and direct different marketing strategies at each of the groups based on their individual needs (check out our quiz maker for more details).

Qualitative data collection methods

2. Open-Ended Surveys and Questionnaires

Opposite to closed-ended are open-ended surveys and questionnaires. The main difference between the two is the fact that closed-ended surveys offer predefined answer options the respondent must choose from, whereas open-ended surveys allow the respondents much more freedom and flexibility when providing their answers.

Here’s an example that best illustrates the difference:

When creating an open-ended survey, keep in mind the length of your survey and the number and complexity of questions. You need to carefully determine the optimal number of questions, as answering open-ended questions can be time-consuming and demanding, and you don’t want to overwhelm your respondents.

Compared to closed-ended surveys, one of the quantitative data collection methods, the findings of open-ended surveys are more difficult to compile and analyze due to the fact that there are no uniform answer options to choose from. In addition, surveys are considered to be among the most cost-effective data collection tools.

3. 1-on-1 Interviews

One-on-one (or face-to-face) interviews are one of the most common types of data collection methods in qualitative research. Here, the interviewer collects data directly from the interviewee. Due to it being a very personal approach, this data collection technique is perfect when you need to gather highly personalized data.

Depending on your specific needs, the interview can be informal, unstructured, conversational, and even spontaneous (as if you were talking to your friend) – in which case it’s more difficult and time-consuming to process the obtained data – or it can be semi-structured and standardized to a certain extent (if you, for example, ask the same series of open-ended questions).

4. Focus groups

The focus group data collection method is essentially an interview method, but instead of being done 1-on-1, here we have a group discussion.

Whenever the resources for 1-on-1 interviews are limited (whether in terms of people, money, or time) or you need to recreate a particular social situation in order to gather data on people’s attitudes and behaviors, focus groups can come in very handy.

Ideally, a focus group should have 3-10 people, plus a moderator. Of course, depending on the research goal and what the data obtained is to be used for, there should be some common denominators for all the members of the focus group.

For example, if you’re doing a study on the rehabilitation of teenage female drug users, all the members of your focus group have to be girls recovering from drug addiction. Other parameters, such as age, education, employment, marital status do not have to be similar.

Focus groups

 

5. Direct observation

Direct observation is one of the most passive qualitative data collection methods. Here, the data collector takes a participatory stance, observing the setting in which the subjects of their observation are while taking down notes, video/audio recordings, photos, and so on.

Due to its participatory nature, direct observation can lead to bias in research, as the participation may influence the attitudes and opinions of the researcher, making it challenging for them to remain objective. Plus, the fact that the researcher is a participant too can affect the naturalness of the actions and behaviors of subjects who know they’re being observed.

Interactive online data collection

Above, you’ve been introduced to 5 different data collection methods that can help you gather all the quantitative and qualitative data you need. Even though we’ve classified the techniques according to the type of data you’re most likely to obtain, many of the methods used above can be used to gather both qualitative and quantitative data.

While online quiz maker may seem like an inocuous tool for data collection, it’s actually a great way to engage with your target audience in a way that will result in actionable and valuable data and information. Quizzes can be more helpful in gathering data about people’s behavior, personal preferences, and more intimate impulses.

You can go for these options:

  • Personality quiz

This type of quiz has been used for decades by psychologists and human resources managers – if administered properly, it can give you a great insight into the way your customers are reasoning and making decisions.

The results can come in various forms – they are usually segmented into groups with similar characteristics. You can use it to find out what your customers like, what their habits are, how they decide to purchase a product, etc.

  • Scored survey

This type of questionnaire lingers somewhere between a quiz and survey – but in this case, you can quantify the result based on your own metrics and needs.  For example, you can use it to determine the quality of a lead.

  • Survey

You can use surveys to collect opinions and feedback from your customers or audience. For example, you can use it to find out how old your customers are, what their education level is, what they think about your product, and how all these elements interact with each other when it comes to the customer’s opinion about your business.

  • Test quiz

This type of quiz can help you test the user’s knowledge about the certain topic, and it differentiates from the personality quiz by having answers that are correct or false.

You can use it to test your products or services. For example, if you are selling a language learning software, a test quiz is a valuable insight into its effectiveness.

How to make data collection science-proof

However, if you want to acquire this often highly-sensitive information and draw conclusions from it, there are specific rules you need to follow. The first group of those rules refers to the scientific methodology of this form of research and the second group refers to legal regulation.

1. Pay Attention to Sampling

Sampling is the first problem you may encounter if you are seeking to research a demographic that extends beyond the people on your email list or website. A sample, in this case, is a group of people taken from a larger population for measurement.

To be able to draw correct conclusions, you have to say with scientific certainty that this sample reflects the larger group it represents.

Your sample size depends on the type of data analysis you will perform and the desired precision of the estimates.

Remember that until recently, users of the internet and e-mail were not truly representative of the general population. This gap has closed significantly in recent years, but the way you distribute your quiz or survey can also limit the scope of your research.

For example, a Buzzfeed type of quiz is more likely to attract a young, affluent demographic that doesn’t necessarily reflect the opinions and habits of middle-aged individuals.

You can use this software to calculate the size of the needed sample. You can also read more about sapling and post-survey adjustments that will guarantee that your results are reliable and applicable.

2. Ensure high-response rate

Online survey response rates can vary and sometimes can as low as 1%.  You want to make sure that you offer potential respondents some form of incentive (for example, a discount for your product or an entertainment value for people who solve personality quizzes).

Response rate is influenced by interests of participants, survey structure, communication methods, and assurance of privacy and confidentiality. We will deal with the confidentiality in the next chapter, and here you can learn more about optimizing your quizzes for high response rates.

Now that you know what are the advantages and disadvantages of the online quizzes and surveys, these are the key takeaways for making a high-quality questionnaire.

3. Communicate clearly

Keep your language simple and avoid questions that may lead to confusion or ambiguous answers. Unless your survey or quiz target a specific group, the language shouldn’t be too technical or complicated.

Also, avoid cramming multiple questions into one. For example, you can ask whether the product is “interesting and useful,” and offer “yes” and “no” as an answer – but the problem is that it could be interesting without being useful and vice versa.

4. Keep it short and logical

Keep your quizzes and surveys as short as possible and don’t risk people opting out of the questionnaire halfway.  If the quiz or survey have to be longer, divide them into several segments of related questions. For example, you can group questions in a personality quiz into interests, goals, daily habits etc. Follow a logical flow with your questions, don’t jump from one topic to another.

5. Avoid bias

Don’t try to nudge respondents’ answers towards a certain result. We know it feels easier to ask how amazing your product is, but try to stay neutral and simply ask people what they think about it.

Also, make sure that multimedia content in the survey or quiz does not affect responses.

6. Consider respondents’ bias

If you conduct personality quizzes, you may notice that you cannot always expect total accuracy when you ask people to talk about themselves. Sometimes, people don’t have an accurate perception of their own daily activities, so try to be helpful in the way you word the questions.

For example, it’s much easier for them to recall how much time they spend on their smartphone on a daily basis, then to as them to calculate in on a weekly or monthly basis.

Even then you may not get accurate answers, which is why you should cross-examine the results with other sources of information.

7. Respect Privacy and Confidentiality

As we previously mentioned, respecting users’ privacy and maintaining confidentiality is one of the most important factors that contribute to high response rates.

Until fairly recently, privacy and data protection laws were lagging almost decades behind our technological development. It took several major data-breach and data-mining scandals to put this issue on the agenda of the governments and legal authorities.

For a good reason – here are some stats showing how Internet users feel about privacy.

  • 85% of the world’s adults want to do more to protect their online privacy
  • 71% of the world’s adults have taken measures to protect their online privacy
  • 1 in 4 Americans are asked to agree to a privacy policy on a daily basis
  • Two-thirds of the world’s consumers think that tech companies have too much control over their data
  • According to consumers, the most appropriate type of collected data is brand purchase history

Many of global users’ concerns were addressed for the first time in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which was introduced on the 25th May 2018. It establishes different privacy legislation from European countries under one umbrella of legally binding EU regulation.

Although the law is European, each website that receives European visitors has to comply – and this means everyone. So what are your obligations under GDPR?

  • you have to seek permission to use the customers’ data, explicitly and unambiguously
  • you have to explain why you need this data
  • you have to prove you need this data
  • you have to document the ways you use personal data
  • you have to report any data breaches promptly
  • accessible privacy settings built into your digital products and websites
  • switched on privacy settings
  • regular privacy impact assessments

While the new rulebook may seem intimidating at first, in reality, it comes down to a matter of business ethics. Think about it in the simplest terms. Sleazy sliding into people’s email inbox may have its short-term benefits, but in the long run, it amounts to building an email list full of people who are uninterested in your product and irritated by your spam.

Actively seeking permission to send emails to your potential and existing customers is an excellent way to make sure that your list is full of high-quality leads that want to hear or buy from you.

Protecting your customers’ data or going to great lengths to explain how you’re going to use it establishes a long-term relationship based on trust.

What steps will you take to enhance the transparency of your data collection methods?

mujer robot

What steps will you take to enhance the transparency of your data collection methods?

data collection

 

What are Data Collection Methods?

Data collection methods are techniques and procedures used to gather information for research purposes. These methods can range from simple self-reported surveys to more complex experiments and can involve either quantitative or qualitative approaches to data gathering.

Some common data collection methods include surveys, interviews, observations, focus groups, experiments, and secondary data analysis. The data collected through these methods can then be analyzed and used to support or refute research hypotheses and draw conclusions about the study’s subject matter.

Data collection methods play a crucial role in the research process as they determine the quality and accuracy of the data collected. Here are some mejor importance of data collection methods.

  • Determines the quality and accuracy of collected data.
  • Ensures that the data is relevant, valid, and reliable.
  • Helps reduce bias and increase the representativeness of the sample.
  • Essential for making informed decisions and accurate conclusions.
  • Facilitates achievement of research objectives by providing accurate data.
  • Supports the validity and reliability of research findings.

Methods, techniques and constants for the evaluation of online public access catalogs

Until the emergence of new information and communication technologies (ICT), and in particular the Internet, information systems generally contained tangible resources. With the advent of the Web, the development of collections became more complex, which progressively began to have electronic and virtual documents, which required information professionals to face the challenge of changing the perspective of technical processes, this time with new requirements capable of facing documentary complexity (especially from the point of view of structural integration).

This reality demands the reorganization and redesign of essential processes in information systems, particularly for the storage and retrieval of information, in such a way that they facilitate clear and expeditious access to information. In this sense, attention to the methods used for description becomes vitally important, both from a formal and content point of view.

Even though many organizations, work groups and individuals are using the Internet to generate and/or distribute information, and the amount of electronic resources available on the Web has increased substantially in recent years, a good part of the collections, especially Those that are not generated in HTML are “invisible” from the benefits that general searches on the Internet currently offer, so it can be argued that there is an imminent need to access this type of resources based on new management strategies. of the contents. Consequently, online catalogs require new specific tags (new metadata sets), new metalanguages, new semantics and new syntax to achieve efficient search and retrieval.

Methods

The new challenge for information professionals consists of representing not only the constant or explicit concepts of the documents, but also the changes in the understanding or use of these, emergent or circumstantial changes, which must also be identified as inputs for the construction of metadata and for the knowledge management process, which would identify new topics that would serve potential users of information systems.

The guarantee for competitiveness and excellence in the provision of online catalog services depends on a new strategic vision in the quality evaluation and management processes, with the identification of the opportunities offered by a scenario in constant transformation and supporting new demands for adaptability and incessant changes for the provision of services through continuous improvement.

METHODS AND TECHNIQUES FOR EVALUATION OF ONLINE CATALOGS

The application of automation in the recovery of bibliographic records was initially represented by large databases that led to the creation of online catalogs. With the development of information and communications technologies supported by networks, access to records has transcended the doors of libraries, which is possible through remote access to online public access catalogs (OPAC). Its main objective was that end users could conduct themselves, autonomously and independently, in online information searches.5 Online catalogs were the first information retrieval systems designed to be used directly by the general public, requiring or no training.

With the widespread use of online catalogs, they have become a dynamic channel of access to constantly growing information resources through the use of networks and the possibilities of hyperlinks.

Although several difficulties for their use still persist in many of them, they are important for cataloguers, as they serve as a guide for the use of rules and standards when working with bibliographic records, and also to approach and adopt measures that from usability and User-centered design allows the use and exploitation of OPACs in accordance with the needs of users of information systems.

At present, the analysis and study of users, as well as the creation of products/services that satisfy their needs, is a complex issue, especially if these products and services are in the web environment, both even more so if they are analyzed under the influence of the philosophy of web 2.0.

The truth is that new generations of users (2.0 users) have grown up with the use of computers and with access to all the benefits they offer; Therefore, their forms of consumption, access and processing of information, as well as their needs and expectations, are different, since they require and expect personalized products and services with immediate response, collaborative and multitasking, they assume participatory learning, they prefer access non-linear to information, they prefer graphical representations to written text and expect the interfaces of different systems to be more intuitive.

These users consume a wide variety of information, but not in a static way, since they become, in turn, producers of new information, which benefits them with the significant advantages of the knowledge that is built.

Information designers and professionals must aim to make OPACs a system to improve, promote, facilitate the use and consumption of information in information systems, through the incorporation of techniques and tools that meet the requirement that what users value: ease of use. In this sense, it can be said that the perspectives presented by the studies related to OPACs in the field of their improvement are different, and above all that they are carried out partially focused on the different benefits that they offer.

EVALUATION METHODS

Regarding the methods used for evaluation, it could be argued that there is great terminological diversity to identify the different practices used in this sense, but that they could be systematized into three large divisions: qualitative, quantitative and those that use comparisons.

Quantitative methods

These are methods that focus above all on the collection of statistical information related to the functioning of the institution, related to efficiency, effectiveness and cost-effectiveness. They are methods focused on the operation of the systems, but although very necessary, they have the drawback that they use statistics collected by staff or by automatic systems; Therefore, the data collected may have a certain deviation, from which it is inferred that the results are not completely reliable.

Qualitative methods

They are assisted by qualitative information collection techniques, such as exchanges of opinions or brainstorming, interviews and questionnaires, strategies that are much closer to human sensations. They are mostly used to discover long-term results, goals and impact of systems.

Qualitative methods tend to use a natural and holistic approach in the evaluation process. “They also tend to pay more attention to the subjective aspects of human experience and behavior.” These methods must be applied with extreme care, always keeping in mind that satisfaction with the results of the systems will be in line with the groups of users who receive them, a very complex element due to the diversity of criteria and perceptions that exists from one group to another. , which depends, in turn, on a set of subjective and polycausal factors.

Comparative methods

It is recognized as the method that uses the comparison between various systems, processes, products or services to determine best practices, such as benchmarking. It is a process of evaluating products, services and processes between organizations, through which one analyzes how another performs a specific function to match or improve it. The application of these methods allows organizations to achieve higher quality in their products, services and processes through cooperation, collaboration and the exchange of information.

Their objective is to correct errors and identify opportunities, learning to provide solutions and make decisions following the patterns of leaders. This type of study is carried out in direct contact with competitors or non-competitors and at the end the results are shared so that each organization creates its own organizational improvement system.

methods

It should be noted in this space that each of the aforementioned methods pursue their particular objectives and are determined by the information collection techniques used in the evaluation process; that the combination of several of them could be beneficial to fully meet the objective of any evaluation. These information collection techniques must be compatible with the method used in the evaluation process, so that it can provide the necessary information. There are a large number of information collection techniques, but the most used in the evaluation process are those shown below:

1. The tests.

2. The evaluations of the participants.

3. Expert evaluations.

4. Surveys.

5. The interviews.

6. Observation of behavior and activities.

7. The evaluation of personnel performance.

8. Daily analysis of participants.

9. Analysis of historical and current archives.

10. Transactional analysis.

11. Content analysis.

12. Bibliometric techniques, especially citation analysis.

13. Use files.

14. Anecdotal evidence.

Evaluation activities are still useful, even if they do not immediately lead to decision-making. The reflection that they generate on the weaknesses they reveal is useful to define new lines of work that focus on resolving the elements that generate difficulties and dissatisfaction, both for employees and users/customers.

The methods used in the evaluation of OPAC in general contain a broad component of statistical application and it could be argued that they are not entirely methods produced by Library Science or Information Science, in their own way, but are marked by the influence of other fields of knowledge such as Mathematical and Computer Sciences, Cognitive Psychology, HCI, usability, among other disciplines.

It is worth clarifying that the use of none of these methods is exclusive of another, although they are usually applied depending on what is to be measured in each case, an issue that has contributed to measuring quality from specific perspectives and not from a point of comprehensive view.

Most authors do not establish differences between the methods and techniques for collecting information, and they can be consulted, from very general classifications to other very detailed ones used for particular cases. When general studies are mentioned, the one that proposes developing four basic methodologies for catalog evaluation could be analyzed:

– Questionnaires: both for users and system workers.

– Group interviews: with the selection of a specific topic, also applied to end users and system personnel.

– System monitoring: both through direct observation of users and the recording of system operations.

– Controlled or laboratory experiments.

On the other hand, there are other more specific and detailed ones that aim to evaluate a particular aspect within online catalogs. In the case of the interface study, the following methods are found:

Methods prior to commercial distribution of the interface

– Expert reviews: based on heuristic evaluations, review by previous recommendations, consistency inspection and user simulations.

– Usability testing: through discounted testing, exploration testing, field testing, validation testing and others.

– Lab test.

– Questionnaires.

– Interviews and discussions with users.

Methods during the active life of the product

– Monitoring of user performance.

– Monitoring and/or telephone or online help.

– Communication of problems.

– News groups.

– User information: through newsletters or FAQs.

Another that addresses both the perspective of the system and that of the user and where there is a difference between data collection methods and techniques is the study that proposes the following:

– Analysis of prototypes.

– Controlled experiments.

– Protocol transaction analysis (TLA).

– Comparative analysis.

– Protocol analysis.

– Expert evaluations of the system.

The first three methods (prototype analysis, controlled experiments and protocol transaction analysis), proposed in this study, are focused on the operation of the system, while the last three (comparative analysis, protocol analysis, expert evaluations of the system) are most used to verify human behavior and its interaction with the system; hence this proposal is considered generalizing and integrating.

Thus, in this same study, the following data collection techniques are proposed: questionnaires, interviews, log transaction records, protocol records and verbal protocol records. The feasibility and relevance of combining several research techniques to obtain better results is also stated.

It should be mentioned that the use of any type of data collection methods and techniques for the evaluation of online catalogs is considered correct, taking into consideration, of course, the objectives sought with the use of each of them, in each of the cases to be evaluated.

The optimal thing would be the combination of several methods and techniques that provide sufficient data, in such a way that they can offer the information closest to reality for subsequent evaluation and decision making, using both quantitative and qualitative data, referring to both users. as well as the system, in a way that allows a comprehensive appreciation of this product and/or service. Some information collection techniques used most frequently in OPAC evaluation studies are described below, of which there are known advantages and disadvantages in their application.

 

 

 

 

How to better manage data validation and cleaning processes?

Machine

How to better manage data validation and cleaning processes?   Data Data is a collection of facts, figures, objects, symbols, and events gathered from different sources. Organizations collect data with various data collection methods to make better decisions. Without data, it would be difficult for organizations to make appropriate decisions, so data is collected from … Read more

How do you best account for seasonal variations in your data collection?

Geospatial

How do you best account for seasonal variations in your data collection?Data collection 

Data collection

Data collection is the process of collecting and analyzing information on relevant variables in a predetermined, methodical way so that one can respond to specific research questions, test hypotheses, and assess results. Data collection can be either qualitative or quantitative.

Data is a collection of facts, figures, objects, symbols, and events gathered from different sources. Organizations collect data with various data collection methods to make better decisions. Without data, it would be difficult for organizations to make appropriate decisions, so data is collected from different audiences at various points in time.

For instance, an organization must collect data on product demand, customer preferences, and competitors before launching a new product. If data is not collected beforehand, the organization’s newly launched product may fail for many reasons, such as less demand and inability to meet customer needs. 

Although data is a valuable asset for every organization, it does not serve any purpose until analyzed or processed to get the desired results.

Decoding seasonal variations with linearly weighted moving averages

1. Introduction to seasonal variations

Seasonal variations are a natural phenomenon that affects the economy, weather patterns, consumer behavior and many other aspects of our lives. These variations occur due to various factors, such as change in weather, holidays and cultural practices, that influence data patterns over time. Understanding seasonal variations and their impact on different data sets is  essential for decision making  in various fields. Linearly weighted moving averages (LWMA) are one of the methods most effective statistics for analyzing seasonal variations.This technique analyzes data by assigning different weights to data points based on their position in time.

In this section, we will introduce seasonal variations and their impact on different data sets. We will also provide detailed information on how LWMA can be used to decode seasonal variations. Here are some key points to keep in mind:

1. Seasonal variations occur in many different fields, such as economics, meteorology, and marketing. For example, in the retail industry, sales of winter clothing generally increase during the winter season, and sales of summer clothing increase during the winter season. summer season.

2. Seasonal variations can be regular, irregular, or mixed. Regular variations occur at fixed intervals, such as every year or quarter. Irregular variations occur due to unpredictable events, such as natural disasters or economic recessions. Mixed variations occur due to a combination of regular and irregular factors.

3. LWMA can be used to analyze seasonal variations by assigning different weights to data points based on their position in time. For example, if we are analyzing monthly sales data, we can assign higher weights to recent months and lower pesos in the first months.

4. LWMA is particularly effective at handling seasonal variations because it reduces the  impact of outliers  and emphasizes patterns in the data. For example, if there is a sudden increase in sales due to a promotion, LWMA will assign a lower weight to that data point, which will reduce its impact on the overall analysis.

5. LWMA can be applied to different types of data sets, such as time series data, financial data and stock market data. It is a versatile technique that can provide valuable information on different aspects of seasonal variations.

Understanding seasonal variations and their impact on different data sets is crucial to making informed decisions . LWMA is an effective statistical method that can be used to analyze seasonal variations and provide valuable insights into patterns and trends in data .

seasonal variations

2. Understanding Linearly Weighted Moving Averages (LWMA)

Understanding linearly weighted moving averages (LWMA) is an essential component of analyzing time series data. It is a statistical method that smoothes a time series by giving more weight to recent observations and less weight to older ones. LWMA assigns weights to prices in the time series, with the most recent prices assigned the highest weight and the oldest prices assigned the lowest weight. In this way, the moving average is more responsive to recent price changes, making it makes it useful for analyzing trends and forecasting future prices.

Here are some key ideas for understanding linearly weighted moving averages:

1. LWMA assigns more weight to recent prices: This means that the moving average line will be more sensitive to recent price changes and less sensitive to older ones. This is because recent prices are more relevant to the situation current market.

Example: Suppose you are analyzing the price of a stock over the last month. LWMA would assign more weight to prices over the past few days, making the moving average more sensitive to recent price changes.

2. It is a customizable tool: Unlike other moving averages, LWMA allows you to customize the weight assigned to each price in the time series. You can assign more weight to certain prices and less to others, depending on the analysis you want to perform.

LWMA

Example: Suppose you are analyzing the price of a stock over the last year. You can assign more weight to prices in recent months and less weight to prices in the first few months, making the moving average more sensitive to changes. recent price changes.

3. Helpful in identifying trends: LWMA is commonly used to identify trends in time series data. It can help you determine whether a trend is bullish or bearish by analyzing the slope and direction of the moving average.

Example: Suppose you are analyzing the price of a stock over the past year. If the moving average line slopes up, it indicates an uptrend, and if it slopes down, it indicates a downtrend.

Overall, understanding linearly weighted moving averages can be a valuable tool for analyzing time series data, identifying trends, and forecasting future prices. By customizing the weights assigned to each price in the time series, you can create a moving average that responds more to recent price changes and more accurate in forecasting future prices.

3. Advantages of LWMA in seasonal data analysis

Seasonal variations in data are a common occurrence in many fields, such as finance, economics, and meteorology. They are caused by factors such as weather, holidays, and production cycles, and can have a significant impact on data analysis and forecasting. To address this problem, analysts often use the linearly weighted moving average (LWMA) method, which is specifically designed to handle seasonal fluctuations in the data. There are several advantages to using LWMA in seasonal data analysis, from its ability to provide accurate trend estimates to its ability to smooth out irregularities in the data.

Here are some of the advantages of LWMA in seasonal data analysis:

1. Accurate trend estimation: One of the main advantages of using LWMA in seasonal data analysis is its ability to provide accurate trend estimates. LWMA assigns greater weights to more recent data points, allowing it to capture the underlying trend in the data with greater precision. This is particularly useful when analyzing seasonal data, where the pattern tends to repeat itself over time.

For example, suppose we want to analyze the sales of a particular product over the past year. If sales tend to increase during the holiday season, LWMA will be able to capture this trend more accurately than other methods that do not take seasonal variations into account. .

2. Smooth out irregularities: Another advantage of LWMA is its ability to smooth out irregularities in the data. Because LWMA assigns greater weights to more recent data points, it can reduce the impact of outliers and other irregularities in the data. This can help provide a clearer picture of the underlying pattern in the data.

For example, let’s say we are analyzing temperature fluctuations in a particular city over the past year. If there were a particularly cold week in the middle of summer, LWMA could smooth out this irregularity and provide a more accurate representation of the seasonal pattern in the data. temperature.

3. Flexibility: LWMA is a flexible method that can be adapted to different types of seasonal data. It can be used to analyze data with different seasonal patterns, such as weekly, monthly or annual patterns. In addition, LWMA can be combined with other methods to improve its precision and effectiveness.

Overall, using LWMA to analyze seasonal data can provide several advantages, including accurate trend estimation, smoothing out irregularities, and flexibility. By using this method, analysts can gain a better understanding of the underlying patterns in the data and make more accurate forecasts and predictions.

What criteria are best for determining the relevance of your data sources?

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What criteria are best for determining the relevance of your data sources?

data sources

What is a Data Sources

Data sources is very important. In data analysis and business intelligence, a data sources is a vital component that provides raw data for analysis. A data source is a location or system that stores and manages data, and it can take on many different forms. From traditional databases and spreadsheets to cloud-based platforms and APIs, countless types of data sources are available to modern businesses.

Understanding the different types of data sources and their strengths and limitations is crucial for making informed decisions and deriving actionable insights from data. In this article, we will define what is a data source, examine data source types, and provide examples of how they can be used in different contexts.

Information

In today’s world, it is essential to master skills that allow us to manage information appropriately, according to our needs. Being a person competent in information management becomes a fundamental factor for the development of our academic life, as well as our professional life and even staff. Therefore, a key factor will be our degree of autonomy in the management of information.

The history of access to information has been one of universalization and progressive growth. In recent years, we have witnessed a true information explosion, in which the volume of information of all kinds (journalistic, economic, commercial, academic , scientific, etc.) has exploded to reach unthinkable dimensions, almost always difficult to manage.

Thanks to the development of ICT (information and communication technologies), our capacity to process, store and transmit information through the use of computers and communications networks, giving rise to the birth of the information and knowledge society in which we are immersed.

information

What are the sources of information?

An information source is understood as any instrument or, in a broader sense, resource, that can serve to satisfy an information need.

The objective of the information sources will be to facilitate the location and identification of documents, thus answering the question: where are we going to look for the information?

It is necessary to consider the type of information sources that will be consulted for class work. The student must select sources that provide information at a level appropriate to his or her needs.

1. Books:

We generally call a book a “scientific, literary or any other work of sufficient length to form a volume, which may appear in print or on another medium.”

Traditionally, the book was a printed document, but today we can find many in electronic format. Depending on the content and structure, various types of books can be established:

  • Manuals: These are works in which the most substantial aspects of a subject are gathered and synthesized. They compile basic data that is easy to consult, and are especially useful for getting started in the fundamentals of a discipline.
  • Monographs: They are specific studies on a specific topic and will help us gain in-depth knowledge of the area of ​​knowledge. They can provide both basic and exhaustive information on the topic of the work. We can complete the information using specialized magazine articles.
  • Encyclopedias and dictionaries: They offer synthetic and timely information on a topic for quick reference. There are general ones, for all topics, and specialized ones, for a specific subject. Encyclopedia entries are of medium length, while dictionaries contain short definitions.
  • Doctoral theses: These are research works carried out to obtain a doctorate degree. They are original works, not published commercially, exponents of research, with very complete information on a topic of study.

To locate books we will consult the library catalogue.

2. Magazines:

These are periodical publications that appear in successive installments. They are a fundamental source of up-to-date information, necessary to stay up to date on a topic.

We must highlight that electronic publishing has had a great impact on the publication of magazines, and a large number of them are already They publish in digital format. To locate journal articles we will consult the bibliographic databases.

1 . Library catalogs

Catalogs are databases that include descriptions of the documents held by a library. They include the publications that make up the fund or collection of a library: books and magazines, both printed and electronic, sound recordings, videos, etc. The libraries of the University of Valencia have a common catalog called Trobes.

What can we NOT find in the catalogue?

We cannot find MAGAZINE ARTICLES. Articles contained in magazines must be searched in bibliographic databases.

Through a search system, catalogs allow us to locate documents and find out their availability online. To find books and other resources available through the catalog we can search by different fields:

– Author: search by the last name and first name of an author, the name of a public or private organization

– Title: search by exact title

– Word: search for documents that contain said word in any of the record fields

– Subject: search for records of a specific subject or topic. In Trobes the subjects are in Valencian.

When we have identified the book we are looking for in the catalog, we have to locate it in the library. The catalog provides us with a signature for each copy located and indicates where (room, closet, shelf) in the library we can find it.

The catalog also allows:

– Consult the documents in electronic version subscribed by the library: magazines and electronic books and databases

– Carry out certain procedures remotely: reservations, renewals, etc.

2. Databases available through the Library

In addition to the documents that we find in the library catalog, we may need to search for more information (press, scientific articles, statistics, legislation, jurisprudence, financial data…) on the topic of our work.

For this, the library has a series of databases.

What is a database?

A database is a collection of data (texts, figures and/or images) belonging to the same context, systematically selected and stored, and organized according to a search program that allows their location and automated retrieval.

The libraries of the University of Valencia subscribe to a wide range of databases where we can locate information. We can access through the following link: http://biblioteca.uv.es/castellano/recursos_electronicos/bases_dades/acces.php

They are usually found online and we can access them through the university network or from home by setting up a virtual private network (VPN). They also gather freely accessible databases.

There are different types of databases, depending on the information they contain: bibliographic, factual, press; You can consult the main ones for your discipline in section 2.4. Sources of information in Social Sciences. Some of the most used are bibliographic databases, which contain references to documents, mainly journal articles, chapters, reports, conference communications, patents, etc. Sometimes they contain access to the full text of the documents and/or a summary.

General characteristics:

  • rfield-structured recordsauthor, title, title of the source, type of document, etc.
  • contain iinformation extracted fromprimary sources (journals, monographs, conference proceedings…), submitted to documentary analysis (indexation and summary).
  • They allow you to search by keywords.
  • They allow you to save information to print it, save it, send it to an email account or to a bibliography manager.

Internet

The Internet provides access to a large and diverse amount of information and resources. However, unlike libraries that select and evaluate information based on the quality and relevance of each resource, the Internet contains everything, no one is in charge of the content that is hosted, since it is a medium in which it can be self-published.

It is a participatory environment where anyone can contribute information. And that is where the problem of the network lies: not all the information is true or verified. Therefore, when using the Internet as a source of information, we must be critical and know how to differentiate which resources can help us. We must evaluate the information we find, especially if we want to use it to do a job.

Google

One of the first impulses when you feel a need for information is to turn to Google to satisfy it. Although in some cases this resource is sufficient, it is necessary to keep in mind that neither is everything that is, nor is it everything that is, that is, that there is a lot of important information that does not appear in conventional searches and that much of what appears only adds noise and confusion.

How does Google work?

Google incorporates an automatic algorithm that evaluates the sites found, so that only the most relevant ones appear, taking into account the terms or keywords entered in the search. Once the results are obtained, these terms appear in bold, so that the user knows why those resources have been selected.

To evaluate the quality of the resources, Google uses the number of links as a measure. that each page has. In this way, each link from one page to another works as a “quote.” But all links are not valued equally: those links, or quotes, that come from pages that in turn have received more links from other pages are worth more. Through this “democratic” system, Google orders the list of results by placing the websites that receive the most links at the top of the list.

The main characteristic of these search engines is that they only index websites linked to the academic world: journal portals, repositories, headquarters academic websites, databases, commercial publishers, scientific societies, online library catalogs, etc.

information

In the search process, we can come across a wide variety of information on our topic. However, not all information will have the same value, therefore, we must select the appropriate sources of information, taking into account different aspects.

How to best address issues related to respondent fatigue or participant burnout?

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How to best address issues related to respondent fatigue or participant burnout?

fatigue

 

Fatigue

Fatigue is a great problem.  In colloquial language, the term “fatigue” is used to refer to the feeling of tiredness after an effort, which can be of a diverse nature and generates demotivation for the continuation of that effort, whether intellectual, work-related. or sporty. Unfortunately, there is no universally accepted definition of fatigue, which makes its nature conceptually complex and ambiguous.

Fatigue can be a consequence of physical or mental effort. This review will focus on fatigue as a state resulting from the practice of a physical-sports activity in which both types of effort are usually present and is associated with the training load (training stimulus that generates a breakdown of the body’s homeostasis). and causes the activation of allostatic mechanisms that allow the state of functional balance to be recovered).

mental effort

The factors that contribute to fatigue resulting from physical activity arise not only from the physical effort, but also from the concomitant mental load and the results of the task being performed. Among the physiological factors that have been investigated in relation to fatigue, cardiovascular performance, muscular vascular occlusion, efficiency in the use of oxygen and nutrients, neuromuscular fatigue, and the presence of metabolites in the internal environment stand out.

Furthermore, factors directly implemented in the central nervous system (CNS) intervene in this process that serve to regulate effort and protect the body from damage that could occur due to overexertion.

However, fatigue also derives from the tactical nature of activity typical of motor interaction sports, in which the athlete invests an effort: on the one hand cognitive for decision making and on the other leading to emotional self-regulation. In this context, mental load, as an element that can influence fatigue, has become an area of ​​research of undeniable importance. In this case, fatigue does not determine the inability to continue sporting activity, but rather to do so while maintaining an optimal level of performance.

Although experimentation on the factors that influence the appearance of fatigue points to multi-causal models, in the scientific literature there is an over-representation of physiological and biomechanical mechanisms, to the detriment of those from psychology or neuroscience, which is why An updated review of these aspects is very pertinent.

Concepts of fatigue and mechanisms that contribute to its appearance

The multicausal nature of fatigue has been the subject of study in biomechanics, physiology and psychology, the first 2 covering its objective nature and the latter its subjective and mental nature. This division of the study of fatigue has generated diverse and not always compatible definitions.

The physiological approach defines fatigue as a functional failure of the organism that is reflected in a decrease in performance and that generally originates from excessive energy expenditure or depletion of the elements necessary for its generation. In this sense, most research focuses on muscular aspects, understanding fatigue as a loss of the maximum capacity to generate force or a loss of power production.

However, the physiological explanation of fatigue goes beyond these aspects, making it necessary to also consider the effect that exercise produces on motor units, the internal environment and the CNS.

López-Chicharro and Fernández-Vaquero understand that fatigue can result from the alteration of any of the processes on which muscle contraction depends and appear as a consequence of the simultaneous alteration of several of these processes. This approach is also shared by authors such as Barbany, who distinguishes between fatigue resulting from a failure in central activation and peripheral fatigue.

mental effort

The central and peripheral mechanisms have generally been studied in isolation, assuming that their combination occurs in a linear manner, which has probably produced biases in the interpretation of the data and in the conclusions obtained. Abbiss and Laursen have carried out a complete review of these models, which include: the cardiovascular/anaerobic model, the energy supply/depletion model, the neuromuscular model, the muscle trauma model, the biomechanical model, the thermoregulation model and, finally, the motivational/psychological model, which focuses on the influence of intrapsychological factors, such as performance expectations or required effort.

Cognitive strategies to manage fatigue

There are many athletes who use various cognitive strategies to influence their performance in competition, based on managing the discomfort caused by effort, delaying the onset of fatigue. Some research has used hypnotic suggestion to selectively modify the level of perceived exertion of participants, in order to identify the potential contributions of higher brain centers towards cardiorespiratory regulation and other peripheral physiological mechanisms. Some of them have shown that cognitive processes can exert a certain influence on the variations caused at a perceptual, and even metabolic, level through these hypnotic suggestions.

Different works analyze the relationship between perceived effort, cognitive processes and the effects they can have on resistance tasks, generating the development of cognitive strategies for their control. In general these have been included in 2 main types: associative and dissociative. With the former, the athlete concentrates on the signals he receives from the changes in his body state as a consequence of the effort made, while dissociative techniques are based on distracting the athlete with thoughts or mental tasks unrelated to the effort made. The distracting effect of these techniques is based on making use of attentional resources to leave the control of bodily sensations at an unconscious level.

Some of these works have focused their interest on verifying the degree of effectiveness of different cognitive processing strategies for sports performance. The first antecedents suggest that the level of sports performance could act as a mediator of the effectiveness of the different strategies, since the highest level athletes in long-term endurance tests tended to preferentially use associative strategies, while those of lower level level, the dissociative ones.

Probably the first work that attempted to verify this possible effect with an experimental design was that of González-Suárez. The results of the experiment revealed greater performance (longer endurance time) when the subjects ran to self-imposed exhaustion using associative strategies. Likewise, those with a higher athletic level kept running for longer than subjects with lower levels. Dissociative strategies also produced a decrease in perceptions of fatigue and physical exertion, while associative strategies tended to increase perceptions of fatigue.

On the other hand, Hutchinson and Tenenbaum conclude their work in a cycle ergometer resistance test at 50, 70 and 90% of VO2max< at i=2>, that “attentional focusing was predominantly dissociative during the low-intensity phase of the task, and turned toward predominantly associative as the intensity increased.” This seems to indicate that increasing the intensity of the exercise makes the subject unable to abstract from the bodily sensations generated by the exercise. In any case, as Díaz-Ocejo et al point out. , the results are currently not conclusive and it is advisable to approach the research considering other possible mediating variables of the effect of the different cognitive strategies.

Neurocognitive mechanisms of fatigue processing

The afferent information that can alter the RPE is very diverse, and it remains to be elucidated how the CNS integrates it and elaborates the sensation of fatigue. From some studies it is known that the nervous structures involved could be located in the insular cortex, the anterior cingulate cortex (medial prefrontal region) and the thalamic regions.

In relation to the distribution of training content

In the same way that the accumulation of physical load throughout training causes the appearance of fatigue and deterioration of performance, the accumulated effect of mental load contributes to the appearance of fatigue, and this to the decrease in physical performance. and engine.

For this reason, in training sessions in which the objective focuses on learning new game behaviors, motor responses of a high level of coordination, tactical aspects with high cognitive demands, or demands a high level of emotional self-control or concentration, the tasks that pursue it will be located in the initial part of the session, when the athlete has most of their physiological, cognitive and psychological resources available.

However, when the objective is not the acquisition of new motor schemes but the implementation of consolidated game actions and behaviors, the activities focused on their development will be located in the final phase of the training session, just when the accumulation of The physical and mental load leads to a state of fatigue that demands self-control from the athlete. That is, we would place the execution of those behaviors in training in the place that most closely simulates the situations in which those behaviors will have to be deployed in real competition.

If we focus the analysis on the distribution of content throughout a microcycle, for example, that of a team that competes during the weekend, the training activities that involve, on the one hand, greater physical effort and, on the other, greater Cognitive or emotional self-control should be located in the first part (Monday to Wednesday), reducing the magnitude of the loads in the days before competing to leave the necessary time to guarantee the recovery or supercompensation of the athlete.

In this sense, the evaluation of the athlete’s performance, or control of the training process, which is so advisable as a means to stimulate learning, must move away from competition, because as Buceta points out, it can generate stress that would add to what it already produces. the competition itself.