Data Collection Methods


Interviewing is a highly preferred method of data collection because it gives the analyst a unique opportunity to spend time with the "boots on the ground" workers and managers who participate in a process. The analyst also has the opportunity to steer the discussion to points of interest during the interview, which allows for flexibility to respond to revelations made during the interview process. It also gives the analyst the control to decide when to dig deeper into a line of questioning or skip over less relevant information.

Interviewing is also highly invasive which is not ideal for a change averse environment. In addition to this, attention should also be paid to bias in all the data collected. As discussed earlier, it's not uncommon for the employees, now sitting across from you, to consider this a venue for airing grievances and complaints.

The purpose of the research interview is to explore the views, experiences,beliefs and/or motivations of individuals on speci?c matters (eg factors thatin?uence their attendance at the dentist). Qualitative methods, such as interviews, are believed to provide a deeper understanding of social phenomena than would be obtained from purely quantitative methods, such as questionnaires. Silverman D. (2000), Doing qualitative research. London:Sage Publications Interviews are, therefore, most appropriate where little is already known about the study phenomenon or where detailed insights are required from individual participants. They are also particularly appropriate for exploring sensitive topics, where participants may not want to talk about such issues in a group environment.

P. Gill, K. Stewart, E. Treasure, B. Chadwick (2008) British Dental Journal, Vol 204 No. 6, Page 292

Lastly, interview discussions can also turn into the watercooler skuttlebutt later. The analyst should take special interest to make sure his or her questions are well thought out and don't convey a negative message. It is also important to target the interviews to those who are directly involved with the processing being analyzed. There is no need to interview individuals who don't interactive with or participate in what the analyst is researching.