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Data Collection

Make Decisions with Data

Data Collection

Big Idea

What kinds of data can help you evaluate the possibilities of decision alternatives? You developed alternatives by gathering and organizing factual information. Because almost all decisions affect someone, people’s opinions are important data too. You can collect opinion data by writing and administering a survey. The data you collect may be useful both to you and other researchers and decision makers. A database is a collection of information organized so that you can quickly retrieve the specific information you need. A database application is a software program that specializes in storing and managing data for quick and easy retrieval. Learn how to use a database application and become an effective creator and user of databases.

In this module:

  • Write effective survey questions to collect useful opinion data
  • Follow basic guidelines that help you collect accurate opinion data
  • Learn how database applications store and manage data
  • Plan an effective design for your survey database
  • Create database tables to store you survey data

Activity 1: Survey Questions >

What makes a survey question effective? Effective survey questions provide data that helps you make your decision. Critical thinking skills can help you determine what opinion data is relevant and write survey questions. Write effective survey questions to collect useful opinion data. 

Activity 2: Survey Administration >

How you collect data is just as important as how you write the questions. You can usually collect the most data in the least time by asking respondents to complete and return a questionnaire. Follow basic guidelines that help you collect accurate opinion data. 

Activity 3: Database Basics >

Have you ever used a database? Whether you know it or not, you probably use a database almost every day. Have you ever used a database application? Database applications are a little different from other technology tools. Learn how database applications store and manage data. 

Activity 4: Database Planning >

Why plan a database for your survey? How easily information can be retrieved from a database depends entirely on how well the database is designed. Effective designs are based on the most efficient separation of data items. Plan an effective design for your survey database. 

Activity 5: Database Tables >

Creating a database is a simple process when you begin with an effective design. Tables are the most fundamental objects in a database. You can create tables yourself or use a wizard to walk you through the process. Create databases tables to store you survey data. 

Look Back >

Reflect on what you learned in this module. Are you ready to analyze your survey data? Use the checklist to make sure your tasks are complete. Use the rubric to assess your survey data. Talk about what you learned and how you did your work.

Look Ahead

Checklist: Before you begin, review the checklist for this module. Use the checklist to make sure that you complete all the tasks for each activity. 

See the checklist (doc) >

Rubric: Before you begin, review the rubric for this module. Use the rubric to help you understand what is important to know and do. 

See the rubric (doc) >