A recent HBR article touts the benefits on ethnography at Intel. (Ethnographic Research: A Key to Strategy. By: Anderson, Ken, Harvard Business Review, 00178012, Mar2009, Vol. 87, Issue 3) There are many types of measures in the social sciences. Each has its own strengths and weaknesses and each has a place in your measurement repertoire. But, as this article points out, if you limit your view of measurement and science (or data collection and how you are able to deal with different kinds of datum) you will ultimately lose out.
Some people may not like this kind of viewpoint. It tends to broaden one’s field of vision and many people like to stay narrow and focused. There is a time and a place for narrow and focused, but there is also a time and place for broad. Reminds me of something Martin Buber wrote (paraphrasing)
Only a fool give someone three choices. The wise man gives only two choices, one that obviously good and one that is obviously evil.
I do hope I am correct in reading this sarcastically. If this is indeed the knowledge age, we need lots of people who can deal with 3 and more choices on a regular basis.