Statistics is a branch of mathematics that deals with the collection, analysis and interpretation of data. As we have seen in the definition of statistics, data collection is a fundamental aspect and as a consequence, there are different methods of collecting data which when used on one particular set will result in different kinds of data.
A sequence of observation, made on a set of objects included in the sample drawn from population is known as statistical data.
Collection of Data:
The first step in any enquiry is collection of data. The data may be collected for the whole population or for a sample only. It is mostly collected on sample basis. Collection of data is very difficult job. The enumerator or investigator is the well trained person who collects the statistical data. The respondents (information) are the persons whom the information is collected.
Types of Data:
There are two types (sources) for the collection of data.
( (1) Primary Data: The primary data are the first hand information collected, compiled and published by organization for some purpose.
(2) Secondary Data: The secondary data are the second hand information which are already collected by someone for some purpose and are available for the present study. The secondary data are not pure in character and have undergone some treatment at least once.
Generally there are three types of data collection and they are:
1. Surveys: Standardized paper-and -pencil or phone questionnaires that ask predetermined questions.
2. Interviews: Structured or unstructured one-on-one directed conversations with key individuals or leaders in a community.
3. Focus groups: Structured interviews with small groups of like individuals using standardized questions, follow-up questions, and exploration of other topics that arise to better understand participants
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