This post consists of reflections on my research and its methodology.
As an undergrad who’s taken classes across many disciplines I have acquired a vast arsenal on methodological approaches to research. From the scientific method to ethnography I know of many ways of acquiring “sound” and “accurate” findings. I also know that speaking and observing bacteria will probably not allow you to yield any results but if you justify your approach you’ll probably get an okay grade.
Methodology is everything. It has to fulfill different criteria and also be approved by your peers and supervisor. But as I conducted my research and added up the numbers I realised that human error is a very real thing. Scrolling through over twenty spreadsheets with hundreds of fields and creating and organising new spreadsheets with that information can be frustrating and tiring. But when you’re finished with your work the result is promising and rewarding.
When I completed processing the data I began to question its accuracy. Not because I thought I did anything wrong. I checked and skimmed my results multiple times and even checked 5 different candidates and companies across the board to make sure that their numbers were correct and reflected the raw data and its findings. And although I am proficient enough to process this data in excel, there are some things only a human can do with a speadsheet.
Methodology is important and needs to be justified, however when conducting research a margin of error must be accounted for. We are human after all. And machines can only do so much unless they’re tailored to find solutions to our specific problems. So before the results are published in a report, I will go through my findings with a fine tooth comb. But for now I have determined that my percentage error is less than 10 and more than 5.