Data Collection Tools


When one is thinking of choosing data collection tools he or she has to put in mind the following characteristic. The tool chosen should be relevant, that means it is formidable to the service it intends to give. Secondly, the tool should be representative to ensure it measures the service (Blischke, Karim, & Murthy, 2011). Lastly, the tool must be reliable credible and the calculations should be accurate. The following the three best data collection tools

Self-Administered Questionnaire

The self-administered questionnaire is a type of questionnaire either electronic or written that a researcher administers it on his or her own. It is mainly done in a large population. The questionnaires are supposed to be designed well so that they ensure they are clear to the people answering. The questionnaires might be dichotomies where the respondent has to answer true/false or the questions can be open ended where the respondents are supposed to explain their views (Curtis & Curtis, 2011). The researcher can reach a large population especially when the questions can be emailed. For better use of the questionnaire, the respondents should not indicate their names for purpose of privacy and then to avoid victimization in jobs.

Data that can be collected by Questionnaire

How do we get to the best development in the medical sector? The tools can also get a system that is can to be used in the evaluation of the staff.

Strengths of Questionnaires

Questionnaires can be distributed to a large population. When they are put in the email or electronically they can be distributed worldwide. The questionnaire method of getting data can be done at a relatively low cost. This happens as the person administering the questions can send them to the medical practitioners all over the world. The self-administered questionnaire has a reduction in biased error which can result from undesirable characteristics noticed on the interviewer or the interviewing skills. Lastly, the self-administered has great anonymity. When the interviewer is not in sight, it allows the respondents to reply with easy especially when the data being collected is very sensitive. So it avoids face to face interactions.

Weakness of Self-Administered Questionnaire

The response rates can be low. People might not be aware that the research is being done. It requires questions that are easy to understand by the respondents’. Sometimes the questionnaires are not straight forward thus the respondents find it difficult to respond. So every time the questions should be having a lot of clarity. Self-administered questionnaires do not provide an opportunity for probing to get more clarification. The answers given are taken as final (Kipling, n.d.). This tool also cannot be used in places where the illiteracy level is high and there is low access to the internet when the questions have been sending through email.


This is a tool whereby the interviewer asks interviewee questions orally then records the answers.So the interviewer is supposed to be precise and clear. When designing this tool you need to develop questions that will yield as much information as possible. When using interview, it is wise to do a pilot first so that you can understand the type of people that will be met in the field (Axinn & Pearce, 2006). Additionally, It prepares you what to expect in the field and also ways that the researcher can overcome the challenges.Data that can be collected by interview

The interview can collect data such as ways which team development can be achieved, measures that will ensure the development happens (Farley, 2010).  How members of staff can help one another to achieve the development.    

Strength of Interview

Personal interviews are flexible as it allows the interviewer to clarify questions that are unclear to get the best answer. It also allows the interviewer to control the process because it is a face to face data collection in a private place. Lastly, there is high response rate compared to the self-administered questionnaire.

Weakness of Interview

It is very expensive to research using this method. Cost are required in selecting training and supervising the interviewers. During traveling a lot of funds are required for the people moving from one place to another. Lastly, interview lacks privacy or anonymity. The interviewer tends to know all the clients. Therefore, In case the topic is very sensitive, respondents might not give exact data because they can be victimized.  A collection of data on sensitive issues becomes very difficult.


It is the active acquisition of information from the primary source. Therefore the researcher is supposed to see all the things that happen and derive data from the observation. This observation method mainly deals with qualitative research such as looking out for a relationship between different work mates. This tool uses eye and hearing sense.

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Type of Information This Tool Collects

Observation collects the relationship that exists between the staff the same level. It can also collect the information most the working staffs are talking about for purposes of staff development and team improvement.

Strength of Observation

It is reliable since the real actions of people are seen. Observation become reliable when the ones being observed do not have an idea, therefore it is easy to get the real reaction from the people .This means that it is reliable. Observation can take place within very short time. Finally, it is a tool that can be used to complement what other sources give about people behavior.

Weakness of observation

People being observed may consciously or unconsciously change the way the talk and behave during the process. This ends up giving wrong data. Lastly, sometimes it might take very long time to get information from the people you are observing.

Similarity of the Data Collection Tools

Some of the similarity can only be found in the interview and self-administered questionnaire because the two the processes depend on responding to the questions. Observation does not have any similarity with the other two tools of collecting data.

Differences among the Data Collection Tools

The main difference among the discussed tools of data collection is the technique they use during the process of collection of data. For instance, observation involves seeing and listening, interview involves asking questions and writing down the answers given by the interviewee as self-administered questionnaire involves filling of questions by the respondents’

Tools used to Measure and Display Data Collected

One tool that can be used to measure and display that data collected is Graph. The information that was collected is about the people who want team improvement and development. Under this section, a line graph is best used to display the data that has been collected . Line graph represents data using a line that is defined by the two variables. The variables are plotted from the vertical and the horizontal axis. Another tool that can be used is the check sheet. Check Sheet is utilized through scrutinizing the data collected then control it and represented it in an organized way. This check Sheet is used to confirm earlier speculated results with the current data collected. In another way, the tool is used whenever the team collecting information has done the survey on what they expect to get from the field. Therefore in its display, it shows the data that has been collected and how it corresponds with earlier surveyed data. 

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Type of Information each Tool Measures, Displays, and Report

A graphical tool is best used to measure the aspect of numerical in the collection of data. For example, in the staff improvement and development, there are some options on how to improve that are given by the leaders of the team. Then the data supposed to be collected is how many workers want the options to be implemented. For example the issue of capacity building, the data collected can be how many people want it done by the certain person or at what time. When this data is collected it can be put on the graph then analyzed with variables of the number of people against the type of capacity builder or the time that the staff wants the program to be implemented.

Check Sheet can be used to check what is corresponding to the expected outcome. For example, the ways of staff improvement can be listed in one column then on the other column it is listed what the staff wants. Therefore the user check the information that is the same then can take note of them. It displays the correspondence of the activities that are expected.

Strength and Weakness of each Tools


The graph is the best tool when representing quantitative data. It also shows clearly the data that was collected when being analyzed. The main weakness of the graphical representation is that it mainly deals with quantities. It deals with data involving how many or how much. The tool also tends to be a little bit inaccurate especially during the plotting of the graph. 

Check Sheet

It is an effective way of representing data as it gives prior speculation of the expected outcome of the expected results. The main weakness of this tool is when all the lists of expected outcomes do not correspond with the outcomes of the collection of data. The tool now becomes useless. 

Similarity and Differences of Graph and Check sheet

The major difference is that graphical tool is used to represent the numerical data while check sheet most of the time is used to measure and display quantitative data .There is no similarity between the two tools.

Improvement Methodology

The following are ways in which the improvement can be achieved in the development and enhancement of staff in any firm. Professional training should be done to ensure a high rate of competence and good working. This allows the employees to improve their existing skills at work and provides the opportunity for professional growth and development at no extra cost for the employee (Barnard & Hannon, 2010).Despite the method having the pros, it has cons such as it can be a very expensive process to the firm and also the productivity can reduce as many employees are busy training.

Cross department training. The firm must ensure that each team develops overall so that the firm can also improve. This is achieved through cross-department training. For instance, some client’s questions can be answered by people from the different department in the case of absenteeism. Some of the advantages of this method are that it creates stability and flexibility among the staff. Although, the method creates competition and dissatisfaction among the employees as they perform one another role.

Personal development can also be used in staff development. The management should ensure that  the staff has intellectual growth, emotional balance, and physical balance. This would improve their morale during their working. The employees will feel supported. This method ensures that all the workers grow in different spheres and will work well towards the achieving goals.

The best method of staff improvement is Professional training because in a way it incorporates other methods in it. Personal development can be included. Working staff will develop when they are taught new skills of working. They can serve the customers well. Furthermore, it impacts directly on personal development. 

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Information Technology

IT facilitates career planning and management discussion. Staff and their managers can have a conversation on the same platform discussing working issues. There is support career development portal that allows the employees to get more training through the technology. Learning paths are created. The employees can also build a profile portal that shows their broader qualifications and skills. This will expose capabilities that managers are interested in.

The application meant for career planning and management discussion is the best application for staff development and improvement. It allows a lot of discussion between the management and the other staff. 


Benchmarking is comparing of the business and performance matrix in any organization and best practices from a certain company. The management is supposed to identify the best firms then take its staff there for the purpose of improvement. It is a continuous event where a staff learns from others. There are three types of benchmarking namely performance benchmarking, process benchmarking and strategic benchmarking. In this area, I am looking at staff improvement and development; therefore, performance benchmarking will be discussed in details.

Benchmarking is used to measure and manage quality indicators such as production per unit measure, productivity measure and defects per unit measures. The quality indicators result into matrix performance that is used to compare different teams. For instance, in the health sector, this indicator can be measured for purposes of staff improvement and development. Whenever benchmarking occurs the health staff can compare the development and improvement process of a staff in a different big and good firm or health facility. After the benchmarking, they will go back with an aim of emulating what they learned for purposes of improvement.

Milestone is a project activity that is used to manage work effort, monitor results and report the meaningful output to the management or the project stakeholders. Milestones allow project managers to determine whether the project is on schedule or not. They mainly show a project on the critical part while ignoring the non-critical parts. The main indicators of the milestone are the input and the output.

Therefore in the staff improvement and staff development, the input and output indicators can be used. When the input is there expect more development in the staff. For instance when the staff is given a lot of incentives, taken to more capacity building conferences and given freedom to do what is best according to them at long last the management should expect high output. 

Mission, Vision, Strategic and Operating plans

The mission is a written declaration of a firm main business and activities that normally remains the same for a certain period of time. The mission is something to be accomplished by an organization . The quality measures are aligned with the mission of the organization in such a way that it communicates the intent and the direction of the company; it clearly states what the people or the market that is going to be served. In a nutshell, a mission is something to be accomplished.

In any organization a mission is important and it is aligned with the measures of performance in the following ways. The mission helps the workers to know the decision and task that are best aligned with the purpose of the firm. Mission also gives the staff the objective of the organization .Lastly, the mission allows the targeted population by the firm to know the role of the organization and have right expectations.

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Vision is a statement that stipulates what an organization wants to be in a certain period. Therefore it is a clear and inspirational long-term change desired by the organization. It is supposed to have a time frame. Therefore the vision shows the future.

The vision of any organization majorly inspires the staff towards working for the intended goal at a certain period of time. For example, a vision of staff improvement and development can be; the desire to have the best staff in terms of development. Therefore a vision provides direction for any organization. 

Regulatory and Accreditation

Staff development in the health sector should be accredited by the government and other health agencies. Some of the effects of accreditation by external agencies include improvement of the process of health care given to the sick people. Accreditations also improve the clinical outcomes of the health sector. It also helps the management to ensure that the improvement plan is complying with the standards of the hospitals and other medical facilities to avoid being denied the permit. After the plan, the staff is supposed to be given certificates showing the areas they have trained. Therefore the board of directors should ensure that there is an external evaluation by the government agencies so that the professional development of the staff can be accredited. The health facility will be accredited and the staff members are given the certificates of qualification.

Monitoring and Revising

This is a document or activity that helps in assessment and tracking of the results of any development plan. Some of the elements of the plan that are supposed to be monitored include personal developments like mental growth, financial stability, and relationships between the employees. These elements can be evaluated for improvement through a written document that the staff has to fill whenever the plan is over (Guidance for industry and review staff, 2008). Through this data collection, we are able to gauge whether the plan is working or not.

The changes can be monitored through observation of the employees how they work and the relationship with other workmates. This should be done by the middle management team who will then report to the executive leaders. This staff development can be monitored by observing how enthusiasm they are when they arrive in their places of working; how they relate to each other and how they do the work they are assigned by their leaders.

Challenges that Interfere Implementation of Quality Measures

Bad attitude

Poor management practice and lack of lack of high production in companies have contributed to bad and unhealthy attitudes towards implementation of the quality measure. A bad attitude can also be created by the notion that the management always feels to be right when creating the improvement measures. The views of the staff are not considered. 

Competitive markets

Competitive markets make other companies produce low-quality products for purposes of getting more customers at lower prices. Most of the companies assume that they can’t produce top quality goods because it is an expensive process .Therefore most companies produce low-quality goods rather than quality goods due to market competition. Inadequate capital for excellence management  

Most companies give little funds towards implementation of quality measures while expecting higher output. Companies give a lot of attention on the profits production while neglecting production of the quality products and having the quality staff that is having the highest level of care.

Poor planning

Lack of good strategic plan contributes to ineffective worth improvement. This leads to high wastage of funds in implementing plans that are not worth and in the long run of the company gets losses.

Lack of measurement for quality improvement. 

Employees and the activities they perform are supposed to be monitored effectively. Most of the companies do not monitor the measures of improvement very well. Some of the measurement problems are caused by goals measured by past achievement without putting in mind the current producing factors.

Lack of human resource development.

Poor capacity building leads to resistance among the workers towards development measures. This is a larger contribution to resistance of the workers in any firm (Bennett, Hess, & Orthmann, n.d.). Lack of knowledge on the current ways of working might cost the organization.

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Strategies to Ensure Successful implementation of New Quality Measures

The firm should ensure that all the staff is updated on the ways of doing their work. This will be achieved through the management taking all the employees in capacity building seminars. All the strategic planning in any firm must be prepared in a way that ensures they are detailed and can be understood by any employee. Good planning will ensure that the cost of the operation does not go past the budgeted one. The quality improvement measures should be checked frequently to ensure that all the upgrading is done in the right way. Motivation and creativity should also be fostered to give employees confident. It can be achieved through allowing some of them to participate in the decision-making process of the company.

Evaluation of the Current State of QI.

The structure and the authority in the organization are working well to ensure that the implementation is met. Although there is a little resistance from the workers, the management has ensured that the plan is implemented to the full. The management has also allowed full and smooth transition from the previous ways of working to new ways of working during and after implementation of the plan. Lastly, the management and the authority are performing the allocated work well.

How the Organization will achieve its Long Term objectives.

The organization will achieve long term objective mainly by creating the culture of improvement and development of the staff (MacKenzie, 2000). This means that every, day the people working in the organization should ensure they develop and also provide quality health care to the patients. The objective can also be achieved by recognizing and giving prices to the people who successfully implement the plan .Finally the organization should set the rule of compulsory implementation of the plan to all the workers.

Challenges that May impact the Future Health Care Quality Plan

Technological advancement will impact the future plans. Whenever the health organization has the intention of improving the technology within the organization the quality improvement will either improve or reduce. The change of management can also impact the future plan. For example the management can be changed then the new management may do away with the plan or continue with the plan but in a different way thus impacting the future implementation of the plan.

The effect of QI on Operation and Financial Performance

The quality improvement plan will improve the operation of the organization. Whenever the staff has improved definitely the operation of the organization will improve. The quality of the health care given to the people will also improve. The Financial performance of the organization will rise during the implementation of the program .It is so because  a lot of money is used to implement the plan (MacKenzie, 2000). Activities such as capacity building, seminars and in service training consume a lot of money. After the implementation has been successfully done, financial use will definitely reduce. 

Did you like this sample?
  1. Blischke, W., Karim, M., & Murthy, D. (2011). Warranty data collection and analysis (1st ed.). London: Springer-Verlag
  2. Curtis, C. & Curtis, B. (2011). Social Research (1st ed.). Los Angeles, Calif.: Sage.
  3. Kester, W. (2005). Data conversion handbook (1st ed.). Amsterdam: Elsevier
  4. MacKenzie, I. (2000). Performance appraisal systems for organizational success (1st ed.). Emmitsburg, MD: National Fire Academy. 
  5. Loader, D. (2007). Operations risk (1st ed.). Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.
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