Flowchart, as you may have known, used to be the most popular method to represent computer algorithms before computer terminals and third-generation programming languages started to take the turn in the late 1970s. According to the New World Encyclopedia, these programming languages express computer algorithms in a more concise and readable way. However, despite technological advances, many still use flowcharts for various projects, such as clinical research project plans, etc.
A flowchart, in general, is a sequential graphical representation of the processes involved to solve a problem. This diagram contains connecting lines or arrows and boxes that represent a process workflow. Through this diagram, you can quickly analyze, design, and document a process or program, which makes it an essential part of research projects in various fields such as qualitative researches, and case studies. This chart also helps your audience to effectively understand research proposals, data collection, research design, literature review, abstract, research questionnaires, and other segments of a research paper since it can provide an overview of each part more quickly.
As a researcher, there are many types of flowchart that you can apply to organize your research project. Below are the most common diagrams that you can use.
This type of flowchart represents a systematic, step-by-step process that leads to certain conclusions. It contains different shapes and arrows which show the direction of the sequence. You can use it to execute a more effective study analyzation, design, documentation, and process management.
Unlike, basic flowchart, the swimlane flowchart shows the connection of different objects in the chart. An excellent example of this flowchart is an organizational chart. An organizational chart usually shows individuals in different positions or responsibilities and how these people will interact with each other with an ultimate corporate goal.
The workflow diagram plays a vital role in the business process. This essential visual layout allows you to represent the necessary tasks to obtain a specific goal and the individuals who will execute the tasks. In research, you can use it to show the functionalities of particular objects.
Through a data flowchart, you can illustrate the interactions and the development of the information from the system and external sources.
Now that you know the most common types of research flowcharts download the following samples to get more knowledge on how you can apply these diagrams.
As mentioned earlier, you can use flowcharts in various research sections, such as process flowchart. With that said, whether you are doing it for medical research or other scientific studies, you need to follow an organized guide in creating a greate flow chart such as the following steps.
Before doing anything else, you have to understand the environment of your research project. Determine if you need to learn specific research skills to carry out the investigation or research segment accordingly.
In this step, you will determine if the existing researches have used flowcharts. You will also find out if there is a need to use a flowchart for your research project. You will then decide the best diagram that you can apply. Another thing that you need to keep in mind is the project’s capacity to revise the flowchart quickly.
There are many online tools that you can use to create a diagram for your project. You can use either the free or the paid versions, which may come with additional features. It is essential to know, however, that usually, free versions will mostly do the job. You don’t want to pay for something that you don’t really need.
To make your flowchart more valuable, include additional information such as the details or explanation of each content that you incorporate right next to it. However, keep in mind that in the real world, processes can be vast, so fitting all the materials on one page can be a challenge. Be creative. Summarize the process details, but do not omit the essential parts.
A flowchart is, indeed, vital content to create more strategic research in many aspects. Improving the flow of the project both in readers and the researchers’ end is just an example of what it can do. With that said, it can be helpful if you know how to incorporate this type of illustration to the research methodology that you are using.