For collecting quantitative data, the most obvious difficulties is the setting questions of the questionnaire surveys. It is quite challenging to set questions which are meaningful and involve no assumed or definite answers. For example, there is a question in my survey asking “whether or not you think the situation of elderly poor in Hong Kong is serious in Hong Kong” and two options, ‘serious’ and ‘not serious’ is given. However, after a little bit reflection after conducting the surveys, I think that an assumption is implied in the question.
As in the introduction of the survey, it is already pointed that the effectiveness of the current social welfare policies of in Hong Kong to lessen the financial difficulties of the elderly poor is being investigated. Hence, there is no point rejecting the seriousness of elderly poor in Hong Kong if policies have been implemented to ease the problem. However, such question seems to be quite useful in addressing the Focus Question “What is the current situation of elderly poor in Hong Kong?” Hence, I realize that the question format could be changed to a 4-point scale question to avoid having definite answer as the extent of seriousness could vary with different respondents’ view.
Besides, I have found that a majority of the respondents of the survey mainly aged between 11 and 20. Hence, similar survey results and opinions from respondents of similar age are resulted and the difficulty is that the opinions given might not be diverse enough to analyze on. A strategy to solve the problem would be seeking respondents through different tools like by phone and online.
Face to face surveys could also be carried out in different venues. For collecting qualitative data, the most difficult part is searching up-to-date but relevant information. In fact, I’ve searched a number of news articles from the Internet which are relevant to my enquiry. Nonetheless, some information given is not current enough, thus losing the value and usefulness of the information. As a result, a difficulty is to collect updated information through the Internet. Besides, I have no idea in searching what kinds of information in the beginning.
As I seldom read newspapers or books, it is quite difficult for me to obtain data from literature reviews but searching most of them through the search engines of the Internet. Hence, I realize that the only way to solve such difficulty is to develop a habit of reading books and newspapers so that I could obtain current information easily when necessary. In this data collection process, I have learnt the skills in researching and collecting useful, updated and meaningful information through different tools.
For quantitative data collection, I have learnt the skills of setting questions specifically and meaningfully in order to obtain first-hand data through questionnaires. Also, I have learnt the format and rhetoric of a formal survey. Besides, I have developed strategies in analyzing gathered information with charts. For qualitative data collection, I have developed skills in using information of different genres to diversify the types of data collected. Also, I have acquired better skills in interpreting ideas through facts and various text types.