Data Collection Methods


There are a number of different analysis and data collection tools available in even the most change adverse environment. Each carries a varying degree of intrusion into the organization which will often affect it's value. For instance a focus group might provide great feedback on an idea, but it's also obvious in its intent and message. As we discuss each separately, close attention should be placed on the impact and value of each technique, it is your role as analyst to choose which tools to apply and how each might be modified to fit your needs. In particularly sensitive organizations the analyst might find it helpful to develop a risk matrix to represent each technique and the weight it carries in their analysis.As you can see in the above chart, each method can feed into the others and also form a system of checks. If one method's results are wildly out of the norm, the others methods should act as a counter weight. It's important to understand a successful analyst will use as many techniques as possible to get a good understanding of the process or workflow being evaluated. Being able to use these techniques in tandem gives the analyst a large toolbox with plenty of options able to meet the demands of any organization.

Data collection is especially valuable to an analyst as it provides a baseline for comparison when the process is revised or modified. Knowing where the process is currently enables the analyst to determine the effectiveness of his or her's work. Goals, forecasts, and progress reports are all important components of change and none would be possible without baseline data.