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‘Data collection’ and ‘data generation’ are sometimes used interchangeably.

Both terms refer to the methods that are used to gather data for analysis. However, ‘data collection’ hints that the researcher remains outside the creation of that data – potentially the data might have evolved without the researcher’s presence or involvement. ‘Data generation’ hints that the researcher is either an active participant in the creation of data or they may have arranged a situation in which rich data became available.