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“With data collection, ‘the sooner the better’ is always the best answer.” – Marissa Mayer

We may consider the idea of ‘process’ as a focused sequence of constructed actions/activities that assists in the attainment of given objectives. The modern process claims a long and distinguished heritage, and has ingrained itself as an integral part of systems and mechanisms that animate the domains of contemporary science, commerce, technology, exploration, engineering, experimentation and learning, among others. Varieties of ‘process’ can congregate to develop distinctive instances of overarching systems that operate at the heart of different expressions of human endeavor.

The data collection process represents a form of activity that hinges on that very modern intangible – data. The use of data continues to undergo refinement, even as data scientists interrogate troves of digital information in pursuit of insights, actionable intelligence, and discovery. Hence, developers and architects have devised multiple variations of data collection process in tune with requirements emerging in, for instance, science, technology, commerce, and industry. The moving parts of such process could find transparent representation inside structured diagrams, also known as flowcharts.

  • Focus on Massive Data

A data collection process rendered inside flowcharts could focus on key requirements of a business establishment; this stance is important because “businesses acquire massive quantities of data, and you need to be scrupulous about which data you retain in your system.” For instance, retailers of industrial/commercial merchandise could focus on parameters – such as customer information, volumes of product sold, the best sellers, inputs from buyers, prevailing consumer sentiment, and sensitive price information – as part of building unique versions of competitive advantage. A flowchart allows retailers to mold the finer aspects of such strategy, thereby spotlighting the utility of custom-developed data collection process. Over time, the information that emerges inside said flowchart encourages retailers to view additional data points, thus adding to the expanse/content of flowchart-based illustrations.

  • Quality of Information

An ongoing analysis/sampling of data must represent an organic segment of any data collection process. Such analysis serves to inform investigators about the quality of information that comprises a key aspect of the data collection enterprise. For instance, manufacturers of automotive products could institute analytical packages inside checkpoints that sample information generated by production processes and value chains that inform/animate the development of automotive products. Therefore, flowcharts depicting the data collection process must emerge inside dashboards that display the theoretical and operational aspects of said enterprise. Data could be sampled for accuracy, completeness, clarity, context, and utility. The flowchart enables manufacturers to distinguish each silo of data and information, and connect data points to drive commercial profitability, for instance.

  • Appropriate Method

Erudition, mated to an objective and informed technique, could multiply the outcomes of a structured data collection process. This holds true because “the correct use of appropriate data collection methods reduces the likelihood of errors consistent with the results.” A flowchart could prove instrumental in evaluating the objectivity and suitability of a data collection process implemented inside an ongoing campaign/project. For instance, scientists working on methods to evaluate the efficiency of equity market operations could deploy the technique in conjunction with flowcharts. This stance could operate as part of a trial-and-error approach, one which yields the best/most appropriate collection process. Additionally, investigators could telescope the findings of earlier initiatives as a lodestone that guides the flows of information inside flowcharts. The outcomes could point to highly objective method that aid the derivation of the efficiency metric.

  • The Critical Questionnaire

Questionnaires, when deployed as part of a data collection process, bear potential to uncover significant reams of information that could point to the objectives of a multi-stage campaign of investigation. Operatives could frame a structured questionnaire inside flowcharts, thereby helping respondents to generate clear information that could be processed into a tapestry of original data. Once complete, the flowchart emerges as a site of investigation – as also a platform that upholds the data collection process. A variety of data points could originate inside flowcharts, thus helping operatives to expand the scope of said process. New points of information could also take shape, adding fresh perspective to the project at hand. The subsequent experience could encourage operatives to frame new, diversified editions of questionnaire, adding to the breadth/depth of flowchart in question.

  • Guided Development of Policy

Best practices could find integration into a data collection process as part of a stance endorsed by an organization. For instance, a social media operator that collects information generated by users could develop a flowchart to enunciate and integrate best practices on user privacy into the structure/fiber of the platform. The flowchart allows the operator to generate clear perspectives on the idea of privacy, ideate on the many implementations that promote and safeguard user privacy in the digital domain – and evolve appropriate processes that ingrain said attribute into the many operational aspects of the platform. Subsequently, such actions underpin the data collection practices endorsed/operated by the social media operator, allowing it to emerge as a champion of user rights. We may note the flowchart emerges as an enabler in this scenario, one that upholds a judicious mix of user interests with the imperatives of commerce.

  • Sources & Variables

Collecting data from different sources and locating the variables that appear in data streams – these remain key sets of activity that animate data collection process. In line with this, campaign operatives could design segments in flowcharts to delineate the lines of said activity. The flowchart allows operatives to design the contours of these activities in the visual domain; subsequently, they may add new sources and discern additional variables. Each iteration of flowchart could point to an expanded activity, thereby encouraging operatives to refine and reinforce the sinews of the data collection process. In addition, a survey of the emerging illustration could point to technical flaws that may impact outcomes; these flaws could undergo remediation inside the flowchart as part of evolving the dynamics that attend process.

These paragraphs enable readers to gain an appreciation of deploying flowcharts to design/bolster a modern data collection process. Such illustrations present a flexible platform for designers to incorporate best practices and proven technical inputs into the operational parameters of said process. The various modes of sourcing data from diverse points of origination could find incremental representation through enlightened design stances. This could translate into a truly comprehensive version of sophisticated collection practices, thereby enabling data collection to power processes of system integration. Additionally, the mechanisms of flowcharts could elevate prevailing norms of design sensibility, thereby allowing data collection to emerge as a robust and bonafide mechanism mediated by digital technologies.

Further to the above, flowcharts may prove instrumental when designers seek to implement innovation and add new functionality to existing versions of data collection process. The structured illustration serves as an extended design template – one that promotes intelligent ideation and expands the contemporary conception of process. The outcomes could include a range of synergies that allow data to impinge every segment of a system, and improve the qualitative functioning of sub-systems and their constituent processes. In enabling this scenario, flowcharts serve to uplift the remit of modern engineering domain, as also the many interfaces that allow commerce and technology to engage with buyers, consumers, and customers.