In any type of researches, there will be something that will come out which will appear as a hindrance to the data gathering or the research procedure one is doing. One example of these obstructions can be encountered in a type of a research procedure which is breaking in to a setting. For an instance, there are situations when a researcher is about to gather data or information about his or her subject but is having a problem about figuring out how to approach the situation in the most appropriate manner.
This problem usually sprouts out when a researcher lacks background information about the topic he or she is focusing on. Situations like these usually occur to a state where the researcher is unsuccessful in gathering the data he or she needs exactly. Breaking into a setting immediately without having sufficient background information about the situation or the subject will only cause a domino effect in the research performed. This would probably result to an unproductive gathering of data.
There are many ways that any researcher could conclude as an appropriate solution but some of these solutions have its weaknesses. One of this is having a research assistant, given that this solution is carried out, the primary researcher will still have difficulties because the assistant would possibly have the background information needed but it will still not be exactly effective because of the lack in understanding and commitment to the topic.
Another proposed solution is acquiring a larger budget for the research, although it can generate more information through every possible resource, it is still limited and the information gathered is still not confirmed to be accurate. The best way to deal with these problem is to have a contact who is directly involved in the situation or topic to be studied on. This kind of contact is usually called a “key informant”.
The advantages of having a key informant are: one will have opportunity to build rapport and obtain a view from someone who is directly involved; it can also provide detailed information about causes of the problems in a setting; it makes the clarification of data more possible; different viewpoints from minorities or silent majorities could also be obtained and it can also avoid the increase in the printing and data analysis costs (McKillip, 1987).
Reference: McKillip, J. (1987). Need analysis: Tools for the human services and education. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.