A Doctor of Philosophy (PHD) degree is completed by those who have successfully completed their education at Undergraduate and Postgraduate level and now want to specialise in a specific subject, undertaking their phdown original research in that field. A PHD degree is very demanding and can take between 1-6 years to complete depending on commitment (full/part time).

DCC is well versed in the problems and barriers researchers face in aspects of data collection and analysis. Let us guide you through how we may be able to assist.

Data Collection Methods

All research and data collection is either primary or secondary. Primary research may consist of questionnaires, focus groups, observations and those similar. Secondary research is the use of other peoples work.

Usually a research project will consist of a mix of both. Secondary research to explain and summarise previous findings and primary research to either add to it, propose a change, approve or even disprove secondary research.

Once all data collection is completed, there are two elements that are of utmost importance. The first is to ensure the data is accurately captured and placed within a database. If the data is not accurate, analysis is flawed. The second element is ensuring that the analysis and presentation of the data is such that it allows the researcher to formulate patterns and report on findings i.e. make data actionable.

Data Accuracy

Once you have collected your primary research, you want to extract the data from it as quickly as possible without comprising accuracy. Usually manual data entry is the method adopted to get the relevant data from the paper forms onto a database or system. However, the problem with manual entry is that it is error prone and is time consuming, thus leaving researchers spending most of their time trying to process the data instead of the study and analysis of it. Automating the data will help relieve this pain. In simple terms, automating the data involves scanning a paper form, thus creating a digital image of it, extracting the relevant data and verifying it for accuracy and exporting data sets to the desired destination. Our team of highly skilled verifiers are able to extract all the relevant data from the forms with no compromise on accuracy, in a fraction of the time compared to manual methods and have the data available for you, to spend the majority of your time studying it.

If online/mobile devices are preferred over paper forms, we’re able to design the form with specific business rules and validations that uphold accuracy. The business rules and validations place certain rules on each field that ensure only data of a certain format is entered. If a business rule or validation is breached, a user will come to know of it upon attempting to submit an online form. For paper forms, the rules and validations come into effect at extraction and verification stages. Nevertheless, now you have the accurate data, you want to make the most if it, read on..

Data Analysis and Presentation

In the realms of statistical analysis, SPSS and Excel are used to analyse and present data. Though, they are effective means of conducting useful analysis, using a Dynamic Interactive Dashboard, you are able to go a step further and bring the data to life.

The interactive dashboard will let you view, analyse and extract the data at any scale desired, from a snapshot view of all data sets, to a specific approach. The nature of the dashboard is such that patterns and correlations such as reoccurring themes are to be seen instantly. Furthermore, you are able to import other data sets into the dashboard. Such flexible methods allow researchers to come to better conclusions and statements, more importantly pose relevant questions for future studies and share best practice.

Interpretation of free text feedback can go a step further. A text and sentiment analytics engine can pick up sentiments and emotions from text, apply a scale of sentiment to texts and phrases by linking associated words. The sentiments relating to each identified theme, as well as an overall sentiment is presented on a dashboard using visual techniques such as charts, heat maps and word association clouds. Read more about them here and here!

Students, supervisors and research fellows alike, if you need assistance in planning the data capture for  your project contact us or book your free knowledge share workshop. (What is a workshop?).