Monday, December 29, 2008

Data Gathering Techniques

Among the data gathering techniques used in systems analysis are interviewing, document review, observation, and use of questionnaires. Considering your personality type, which of these would you be most comfortable with and why?

With the way I am now, shy but impulsive at times, I think that I would be "most" comfortable with only three of the choices: document review, observation, and use of questionnaires.

Why? I'm the type of person who doesn't like to talk much. In fact, in our past interviews, I usually leave the introduction to my other groupmates. I am comfortable with approaches that need minimal verbal interaction and, most of the time, I like to think by myself. With document review, all I have to do will be to study what documents will be handed to me. Although, I could say that there is a downside to this because I would still have to ask if I don't understand something in the documents. And of course, documents are just papers. They don't give you the exact picture of what's really going on inside, say, an organization.

I am also more comfortable with observation because it does not really require much talking, except of course when you want to clarify something you saw. I also think that this approach is a good data gathering technique because you can see behind the scenes and understand better how an organization runs. And the major reason that I am most comfortable with this technique is because it gives you a visual idea in your head about the major processes involved in the company- and I am a visual learner, according to an online test that I took. study

Using questionnaires as a data gathering technique is also a comfortable option for me because, just like the reason I have with the other two, it requires less talk. I can just write down all the questions that I could possibly ask, hand them around, and wait for them to be answered. silent 

However, as much as I want to do without the interviewing, there's just no better way to gather the most data. I've done a lot of interviews and I haven't made a mess out of them, but I am still uncomfortable with the idea of having to sit for a long time, look interested in what the interviewee is saying, and maintain the flow of the interview. I just find interviewing a very formal approach to data gathering because you have to submit a letter, dress appropriately, be overly polite and whatnots. I also don't like the atmosphere during an interview because there's tension lingering in the air and sometimes even hesitation. pale

So, basically, I would be most comfortable with only the three that I mentioned earlier, but I can definitely "force" myself to be comfortable with interviewing, if the situation calls for it. (And most of the time, it does... *sigh*) From experience, I'm still actually the one who does most of the talking... Hehehe.

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