What is the Observation Method of Primary Data Collecting?

Observation Method of Data Collecting:

Observation is a method that employs vision as its main means of data collection. It implies the use of eyes rather than of ears and the voice. Observation is accurate watching and noting of phenomena as they occur with regard to the cause and effect or mutual relations. Observation is watching behaviour of other persons as it actually happens without controlling it. Thus, recording information without asking questions is called observation method. Following are some examples of observation method-of data collection:

  • Observing salesman’s behaviour on sales calls.
  • Observing customers behavior to advertisements.
  • Observing response of consumers to a display of a particular product.
  • Observing the stocking pattern of retailers.

Observational method of collecting data is systematic viewing or deliberate study through the eye. The observation may be done in a natural or simulated situation. The observation may be made openly or through hidden cameras. This method is useful for collecting information that people are unwilling or unable to provide. Following are the merits of observation:

  • It provides information about the actual behaviour of consumers. Hence, it affords greater accuracy than other methods.
  • Chances of bias are limited.
  • It is the simplest and most non-technical method. A little amount of training can make his observation perfect..

It helps to obtain information which consumers are unwilling or unable to provide. The researcher is not bound by any rigid position. He can change according to the changes in the problem.

It allows a researcher to record events as they occur. Gathering more satisfactory and in depth material is possible through observation. A researcher is in a better position to classify the data.

Limitations of Observation Method:

  • It is helpful only about certain aspects of consumer behaviour.
  • Very often pplanned observation is not possible due to nature of certain elements. Observation is limited by the duration of events.
  • It provides information only about how consumers behave it does not provide any information as to why consumers behave so. Observational data cannot be quantified. In most cases, it is useful only as a supplement to other methods.
  • There is likelihood of bias. As a result, observation gives wrong results.
  • This method is time-consuming and expensive.
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