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Data collection is a term used to describe a process of preparing and collecting data - for example as part of a process improvement or similar project. The purpose of data collection is to obtain information to keep on record, to make decisions about important issues, to pass information on to others. Primarily, data is collected to provide information regarding a specific topic.[1] Data collection usually takes place early on in an improvement project, and is often formalised through a data collection plan[2] which often contains the following activity. Pre collection activity – Agree goals, target data, definitions, methods Collection – data collection Present Findings – usually involves some form of sorting[3] analysis and/or presentation. Prior to any data collection, pre-collection activity is one of the most crucial steps in the process. It is often discovered too late that the value of their interview information is discounted as a consequence of poor sampling of both questions and informants and poor elicitation techniques.[4] After pre-collection activity is fully completed, data collection in the field, whether by interviewing or other methods, can be carried out in a structured, systematic and scientific way. A formal data collection process is necessary as it ensures that data gathered is both defined and accurate and that subsequent decisions based on arguments embodied in the findings are valid.[5] The process provides both a baseline from which to measure from and in certain cases a target on what to improve. Types of data collection 1-By mail questionnaires 2-By personal interview. Other main types of collection include census, sample survey, and administrative by-product and each with their respective advantages and disadvantages. A census refers to data collection about everyone or everything in a group or population and has advantages, such as accuracy and detail and disadvantages, such as cost and time. A sample survey is a data collection method that includes only part of the total population and has advantages, such as cost and time and disadvantages, such as accuracy and detail. Administrative by-product data is collected as a byproduct of an organization’s day-to-day operations and has advantages, such as accuracy, time simplicity and disadvantages, such as no flexibility and lack of control.[6] See also Scientific data archiving Data management Experiment Observational study Sampling (statistics) Statistical survey Survey data collection References ^ Australian Bureau of Statistics ^ LeanYourCompany.com, Establishing a data collection plan ^ Sorting Data: collection and analysis By Anthony Peter Macmillan Coxon ISBN 0803972377 ^ Weller, S., Romney, A. (1988). Systematic Data Collection (Qualitative Research Methods Series 10). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, ISBN 0803930747 ^ Data Collection and Analysis By Dr Roger Sapsford, Victor Jupp ISBN 076195046X ^ Weimer, J. (ed.) (1995). Research Techniques in Human Engineering. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall ISBN 0130970727 v · d · eStatistics  Descriptive statistics Continuous data Location Mean (Arithmetic, Geometric, Harmonic) · Median · Mode Dispersion Range · Standard deviation · Coefficient of variation · Percentile · Interquartile range Shape Variance · Skewness · Kurtosis · Moments · L-moments Count data Index of dispersion Summary tables Grouped data · Frequency distribution · Contingency table Dependence Pearson product-moment correlation · Rank correlation (Spearman's rho, Kendall's tau) · Partial correlation · Scatter plot Statistical graphics Bar chart · Biplot · Box plot · Control chart · Correlogram · Forest plot · Histogram · Q-Q plot · Run chart · Scatter plot · Stemplot · Radar chart  Data collection Designing studies Effect size · Standard error · Statistical power · Sample size determination Survey methodology Sampling · Stratified sampling · Opinion poll · Questionnaire Controlled experiment Design of experiments · Randomized experiment · Random assignment · Replication · Blocking · Regression discontinuity · Optimal design Uncontrolled studies Natural experiment · Quasi-experiment · Observational study  Statistical inference Statistical theory Sampling distribution  · Sufficient statistic  · Meta-analysis Bayesian inference Bayesian probability · Prior · Posterior · Credible interval · Bayes factor · Bayesian estimator · Maximum posterior estimator Frequentist inference Confidence interval · Hypothesis testing · Likelihood-ratio Specific tests Z-test (normal) · Student's t-test · F-test · Chi-square test · Pearson's chi-square · Wald test · Mann–Whitney U · Shapiro–Wilk · Signed-rank General estimation Mean-unbiased · Median-unbiased · Maximum likelihood · Method of moments · Minimum distance · Density estimation  Correlation and regression analysis Correlation Pearson product-moment correlation · Partial correlation · Confounding variable · Coefficient of determination Regression analysis Errors and residuals · Regression model validation  · Mixed effects models · Simultaneous equations models Linear regression Simple linear regression · Ordinary least squares · General linear model · Bayesian regression Non-standard predictors Nonlinear regression · Nonparametric · Semiparametric · Isotonic · Robust Generalized linear model Exponential families · Logistic (Bernoulli) · Binomial · Poisson Partition of variance Analysis of variance (ANOVA) · Analysis of covariance · Multivariate ANOVA · Degrees of freedom  Categorical, multivariate, time-series, or survival analysis Categorical data Cohen's kappa · Contingency table · Graphical model · Log-linear model · McNemar's test Multivariate statistics Multivariate regression · Principal components · Factor analysis · Cluster analysis · Copulas Time series analysis Decomposition · Trend estimation · Box–Jenkins · ARMA models · Spectral density estimation Survival analysis Survival function · Kaplan–Meier · Logrank test · Failure rate · Proportional hazards models · Accelerated failure time model  Applications Biostatistics Bioinformatics · Biometrics · Clinical trials & studies · Epidemiology · Medical statistics · Pharmaceutical statistics Engineering statistics Methods engineering · Probabilistic design · Process & Quality control · Reliability · System identification Social statistics Actuarial science · Census · Crime statistics · Demography · Econometrics · National accounts · Official statistics · Population · Psychometrics Spatial statistics Cartography  · Environmental statistics · Geographic information system · Geostatistics · Kriging Category · Portal · Outline · Index