SA/D Topic 4 -- Data Gathering


Data Gathering

Data Gathering Techniques

Sources for Data Gathering

Considerations Affecting Data Gathering
-- breadth vs. depth of collection

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-- open vs. closed questioning

-- direct vs. indirect questioning

-- structured vs. unstructured questioning


Problems of Data Gathering

Prerequisites to Data Gathering


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Questionnaires -- used to ascertain attitudes, beliefs, behaviors, and characteristics of several key people in an organization who may be affected by the current and proposed systems.

Reasons to Use Questionnaires


Open-Ended Questions

Closed Questions

  Open-ended Closed
Speed of Completion Slow Fast
Exploratory Nature High Low
Breadth and Depth High Low
Ease of Preparation Easy Difficult
Ease of Analysis Difficult Easy


Guidelines for Choosing Language

Review topics on scales and questionnaire design (Ch. 6).

Observation -- witnessing firsthand the activities of users and decision makers.



    Time Sampling   Event Sampling
  • reduces bias when observations are randomized
  • allows a representative view of frequent activities
  • allows observation of actual behavior as it occurs
  • allows observation of important events


  • data gathering is fragmented with no time for decision to unfold
  • misses infrequent but important decisions
  • requires a great deal of time
  • misses a representative sample of frequent decisions