In the first part of this article I had talked about preparing for your research project and pointed out very important issues that should positively impact your research experience and reports, if thoroughly implemented. How you choose to go about the research and related activities, are decisions you would make after getting the right information for a great roll-out, so don’t rush into it, prepare rightly. This latter part of the article would cement our discussion on the subject and help you identify those things you probably should fix before launching into your research project. Therefore, if you haven’t gone through the first portion of this article, I suggest you do that before proceeding.
With recourse to our previous thought sharing, we emphasized on designing your questionnaire to suit the needs of your end users and meet the purpose of your research engagement. We also discussed on studying previous research materials and the perspective from which you ought to handle the contents of those materials. Issues of sample population were also dealt with, providing relevant and insightful hints to ensure you have the right and quality data for your work. These are very key issues you should be concerned about and try addressing with every sense of importance.
If you are looking to undertake a research project or still new to research activity, the information we would be sharing in addition to the first should get you all ready. These are the very relevant part of the knowledge sharing session I had with Bob, a top official of a renowned research agency in the country. The details of our discussion which I have begun to share enabled me see the things I wasn’t doing rightly, as we delved deeper and deeper into the subject. i hope it does the same to you, as it was more like an eye opener for me, with an advantage of receiving a free transfer of professional knowledge.
At this point, we are now left with the two remaining key sub-topics bordering on:
1. Reviewing your strategies and project materials
2. Turning your weaknesses to strengths with regards to the subject (Dealing with sample population issues, research challenges, data acquisition resistance, data integrity etc.).
REVIEWING YOUR STRATEGIES AND PROJECT MATERIALS:
Firstly, how do you begin to make your review and develop great data mining strategies that produce clear cut results? To ensure you get the best experience on your research, you should consider a list of the “who” (exactly is needed to provide —- and —- data (e.g. professionals, artisans, business men, students, politicians etc.), the required age range, experience, gender, status, locality, ethnicity, etc.)
This should help you determine what strategies, approaches and methodologies that would be effective for your data mining activity. The two popular methods have always been around the online and offline mode, which requires different approaches and project materials when chosen. Plan your research design in such a way that it would be easy for you and your sample population through the data mining process. Constantly review your plans for effectiveness and make improvements where necessary; find out the tools required and materials you would need to acquire for your work.
TURNING YOUR WEAKNESSES TO STRENGTHS:
You should at this point review your weaknesses with regards to your project and possible ways to deal with them. For instance; if you have issues with interviewing people orally or initiating a discussion, there are dozens of articles that would point you in the right direction on how to begin. Every research situation is unique, so there’s no one particular way that suits all. A nice greeting and kind gesture should help you begin, followed by an introduction of your research work, then a request for support by granting an instant interview if they have enough time to spare, and you are all set. We’ve already dealt with sample population issues and generally (research challenges) in the first portion of this article, so I wouldn’t necessarily be doing that again.
Resistance to Data Acquisition:
Several factors are responsible for any form of resistance experienced at the data acquisition stage of a research project and they are largely dependent on your research design. While developing your approach and strategies, you would also need to consider the possible resistance that comes along with the sample population (interviewees) and the most effective way of getting them to co-operate with you. Several approaches would be needed to get the best results with different sets of individuals. E.g, your approach to educated professionals shouldn’t be the same for artisans, and would still not be the same for students or traders etc.
Your research design is the overall strategy you’ve chosen, to integrate the different components of your study in a coherent and logical way, thereby, ensuring you will effectively address the research problem; it constitutes the blue print for the acquisition, measurement and analysis of data. It shouldn’t be so ambiguous or cumbersome for you or anyone to understand, integrate or improve upon. This would help you with consistent evaluation of the research strategies and where to make necessary improvements, especially if you work in a team.
With recourse to our subject, this refers to accuracy and consistency of the data you have acquired for your research work. The final report you provide is overly dependent on the data used, and if compromised for any reason, the finished work would also not be authentic or reliable for the solution it was intended to provide. This is why you should pay close attention to developing very great strategies that ensure you have the right and quality research data. Well, this should no longer be a problem if you have followed this article from the beginning up until now.
You would need to help your sample population have a good understanding of how the data they provide would be used, the protection they would enjoy or the choice of being anonymous if possible etc, to ensure they provide real fact and credible information without any form of fear for victimization. Depending on the kind of research you are working on, this should make it to your list of top priorities and attract great concerns. Note if your sample population aren’t able to trust or buy into your assurance of data protection, they may either choose to walk away or falsify the whole information.
A very good case scenario would be a research on war crimes, HIV, terminal disease or even human right violation etc. Your sample population may choose to falsify information based on perceived assistance they would receive, an attack or rejection they may face for revealing the truth, etc. You should by now have gotten a clear picture of what to expect in each case, this is why you have to first put yourself in their shoes and think of the best way to get them providing those data without compromising. You may consider using the services of a research counsel or professional to guide you with this task.
I’m certain that you are now very well prepared to launch into your research project based on the additional information you have gathered from this article. Do visit this link to see how we can be of service to you on research. We would be glad to pick your calls, read from you, or help you resolve any issue and at every stage of your project.