The nature and collection ofdata
Chapter outline In this chapter we will look at data, what they are and how they are collected. 'Data' is a collective term for the stuff that is collected by research. In this chapter we will look at the forms in which data exist before they are made subject to statistical or qualitative analysis. The fact is, not all data are the same. Of course, there are data that exist as numbers and data that exist as
written or spoken words. However, a quick look at the different forms of data will bear much fruit later on in terms of our understanding of analysis and in relation to our understanding of research in general.