- Definition and identification of research problem.
The research problem must be identified clearly and precisely ie it must not be ambiguous (contradictory).
- Determination of the sources of information.
It includes both primary and secondary data sources.
- Determination of data collection methods.
For primary research, interviews and questionnaires can be used while for secondary research, desk research (stored records usually browsed)is used.
This refers to the group of people/objects that the researcher will make generalization based on the findings. The concern of the researcher is:
- To define the population of interest ieAll those people likely to be interested in buying the company’s products.
- Specifying the sampling frame. This is a list of those in the population of interest ie same gender, same income etc.
- Specifying the sampling units ie the type of people to be interviewed or the specific group of people ie eastern, western or coastal regions.
- Selection of the sampling method to be used ie simple, stratified, systematic etc.
- Determination of the sample size. The size must be representative of the total population.
- Data collection.
This involves conducting desk research, field work or experiments. The researcher should ensure that proper data collection instruments are put in place in order to obtain the right information.
- Data analysis and interpretation.
The purpose of data analysis is to obtain meaning from the research carried out. It involves the use of statistical methods and tools eg mean, measures of central tendency and software eg excel as well as hardware’s eg printers to analyze and interpret data.
- Reporting the results.
This involves presenting the findings inform of a report in order for users to make decisions that are relevant to their departments. The report is the yardstick for evaluating the research project.