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Table of Contents


Types of data collection.

Primary Data Collection.

Secondary Data Collection.

Importance of data collection.

Responses on the observation made in the restauran




It has been stated that observation is normally associated with qualitative research and is involved with the recording of subject behavior. In our case, we will observe the behavior of consumers visiting a coffee shop. Observation is convenient and inexpensive compared to other data collection methods. According to observation as a data collection method includes:

  • Securing data about people or activities that cannot be derived from experiments or surveys
  • Avoiding participant filtering and missing relevant information.
  • Optimizing the natural environment of the research setting.
  • Ensuring environmental contextual information.
  • Narrowing the dilemma of obtrusiveness. 

Observation also has limitations, it can be time-consuming, waiting for all the participants to arrive and to make relevant observations about the relevant subject to be observed. Time, unfortunately, is also money, waiting too long to do an observation will be costly for the observer. During my experience, it was a very simple process and simple data was collected informally, eliminating unnecessary problems with disproportionate participants and numbers, as there were more than 30 consumers in the store (Soda, Hirashima & Hamaoka, 2020). A simple observation questionnaire was drawn up to make the relevant observations. The data collection method is a process of analyzing and gathering particular information to get the solutions of relevant questions and evaluation of the results. It concentrates on finding and researching a particular matter. The collection of data subjects to further research the hypothesis testing which explains the phenomenon.

Types of Data Collection

Primary Data Collection

The primary collection of data refers to the gathering of the raw information from a source for the research work purpose. It is further analyzed into the quantitative data collection method and qualitative research method. Qualitative research method does not gather mathematical information rather it is based on non-mathematical research work like emotions or feelings of researchers. For example, an open-ended questionnaire. Quantitative researches require mathematical calculations and are presented in values and numbers, for example, methods of mean, median, mode, regression, and correlation (Wilson, 2014, p. 174). 

Secondary Data Collection

This method refers to the gathering of the second-hand data where the user is not the original author of the available article. It is that method of gathering the data where the article has already been published. As a matter of fact, the gathering of the data becomes easier and is less expensive.

Importance of Data Collection

There are a lot of reasons why data collection is important. Hence some of the few has been mentioned here(Cooper & Schindler, 2006, p. 240):

  1. Research integrity – the main reason for the gathering of the data be it quantitative or qualitative, it has to be consisting of the integrity of the questions being researched is definitely maintained.
  2. Reducing the errors – the proper way of gathering the data will reduce the chances of having errors in the consistent data.
  3. Decision making – to avoid and reduce the uninformed decision of the researcher, the data collection method is important to gather accurate data and then reduce the wrongly decided information.
  4. Save time and cost – a gathering of the data saves a huge amount of cost and time of the research which might have been expensive otherwise. 

Table 1

Coffee shop consumer behavior


 Behavior observation.


What did most consumers sample first: food, drink, or other?


Did most consumers start eating after sitting at a table or before?


How many consumers used condiments?


How many consumers got a drink refill?


How many consumers received an incorrect order?


Did consumers visit the restroom? Before or after?


How long did the ordering process take (from entering the door and approaching the counter to pay for the order and receiving the food?


How long did the consumption process take (from receipt of order to departure from the restaurant)


How many total consumers were observed?

The observations were made and a question and response summary was drawn up.

Responses on the observation made in the restaurant

  • What did most consumers sample first: food, drink, or other?

The observed customers seemed to ask for a drink before taking their food, whereby a half requested for coffee, a quarter cup of cold water, and the rest waited for their meals without a drink at first.

  • Did most consumers start eating after sitting at a table or before?

The observed patrons had manners, whereby all of them started to eat after sitting at a table and did not wake up until they finished taking up the served meal.

  • How many consumers used condiments?

I observed more than 20 customers, and I found out that only five of them seemed to ask for condiments, and I asked them questions after the meal and found out they also like to get the same treatment at home(Bretschneider et al, 2017).

  • How many consumers got a drink refill?

I observed six of the patrons' requests for a drink refill, and they mostly asked for coffee, which would help them to stimulate their minds as they went back to their jobs?

  • How many consumers received an incorrect order?

The management of the company was focused and that they had to give orders correctly; thus, I did not find a customer who received an incorrect order. I also appreciated the management as they offered the best services, which were accompanied by a receipt regarding the orders offered to all customers (Bretschneider et al, 2017).

  • Did consumers visit the restroom before ordering or after?

I found out three of the customers visited the restroom before ordering the meal, and I found that the other ten went to the rest after their meals.

  • How long did the ordering process take (from entering the door and approaching the counter to pay for the order and receiving food?

The coffee shop offered quick services, whereby they offered their meals after 2-4 minutes, and this shows that the company was focused on offering quality services in the shortest time possible(Kawato, 2018).

  • How long did the consumption process take (from receipt of order to departure from a restaurant)?

Customers who had a chance to chat with their friends took at most 15 minutes, while those who were in a hurry took at most 6-7 minutes to consume the meals ordered.

  • How many total consumers were observed?

I observed 21 customers, where 14 were male, and seven were female, and they joined the restaurant within the 30 minutes provided for observations.


During this observation exercise, it was very simple, but once this data collection method requires more participants, the observer will face enormous variations from the different participants. Observers will have to be trained to ensure concentration in a venue with complex distractions, how to remember and take logical information from participants, eliminate any form of unobtrusiveness, and the ability or experience to extract the most from the behavioral information gathered.


Bretschneider, P. J., Cirilli, S., Jones, T., Lynch, S., & Wilson, N. A. (2017). Document review as a qualitative research data collection method for teacher research. SAGE Publications Ltd.

Cooper, D. R., & Schindler, P. S. (2006). Business Research Methods (9th ed.). NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.

Cyr, J. (2016). The pitfalls and promise of focus groups as a data collection method. Sociological methods & research, 45(2), 231-259.

Kawato, M. (2018). U.S. Patent No. 10,135,672. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Soda, T., Hirashima, Y., & Hamaoka, T. (2020). U.S. Patent Application No. 16/535,152.

Wilson, J. (2014). Essentials of Business Research (2nd ed.). CA: Sage.

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