Data collection: The neverending process

My late husband was a very good cook. Born and raised in Italy, he used to say that there was no such thing as too much garlic in a dish — the only way you knew you had enough was you couldn’t stand to cut any more.

(Then Trader Joe’s started carrying frozen crushed garlic cubes, and that blew that heuristic: it was possible to have too much garlic.)

It occurrs to me that it’s the same with data: one always wants more. It’s oh, let me interview this person, or oh, let me interview that person!

I do have a few more interviews to conduct, to get a broader variety of spiritual and religious perspectives in my data. But I keep thinking of more perspectives I’d like to add — and I do have to stop somewhere. Interviews take an amazing amount of time to transcribe — although as I do so I’m already analyzing the data mentally — and I’ve got less than 15 months left of my nominal three years before my thesis is due.

That said, I will continue to interview people until I have captured the important perspectives that I still lack.

And I’m sure I will always wish I had more data.


About Elizabeth

Northumbria Uni PhD student. User researcher and interaction designer. FRSA. Photographer. UU. American. Renaissance choral singer, language lover, Italian speaker, solo traveler.

Posted on 30 July 2014, in research and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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