Collecting data in the field is never easy. It is one of the most difficult job to do since there are so many factors to consider such as the positioning or location of the data logger. Often times, researchers and others who gather data from the field end up with poor data or no data at all because of several mistakes committed during the installation of the data loggers.
Importance of Data Collection
Poor data collection could inflict detrimental effects on the performance of a company; it could also negatively affect results of a research investigation. Thus, in general, it is essential to know how to properly collect data so as to not end up with a half-hearted set of information that would end up useless.
With that said, it is only right for researchers and other data collectors to look for tips in data acquisition or collection.
Tips in General Data Acquisition
- Know what data is all about.
First and foremost, you need to orient yourself about what data is all about. What are considered data? How do we collect data? What is the use of data? These are only some of the questions you need to answer.
- Know the data you need to collect.
you need to know what type of data your company or research project needs to collect. If you do not know what data you need, in the first place, you might just end up collecting useless data or employing ineffectual means of collecting necessary data. Whereas, knowing the the essential kind of data will help guide you in making decisions as to what equipment and software to invest in for the advancement of the data collection process.
- Know the limitations of the instrument
Every instrument or equipment used for data collection has its own set of limitations or boundaries; it is important to know these especially for data loggers or those devices used to collect data in field areas.
By knowing the limitations of the instrument, you are able to adjust the location, position, and other elements that may affect its data collection process.
- Employ strategic installation of the instrument
Especially for data loggers set out in the field for several weeks, months, or years, you must definitely come up with a strategic installation of the instrument in order to amplify its function. That said, it is necessary for you to foresee the different natural or unnatural events that may affect the data logger’s performance.
Thus, it is necessary to secure an instrument with the appropriate battery life (depending on how long the equipment will be left in the area). Moreover, it’s also important to dress the equipment in such a way that would it would blend well in whatever environment it would be installed in.
- Invest in your data collection process
As you already know, data collection is extremely crucial. The results of what you collect can make or break the company, organization, research project, etc. Hence, it is only right to invest wisely in data collection. Investments may include purchasing instruments and other certain equipment that would actually provide long-term benefits.
- Get acquainted with DAQ systems software
Needless to say, you also need to know well the software systems in which your data loggers are connected to. The software, after all, allows you to monitor the data being collected. Thus, you’ll need to know how to get around the software if you wish to improve your data acquisition process.