Often observations are carried out at the beginning of the data collection phase, but the method can also be used later on during the research process to address questions suggested by data collected though other methods (Mack, 2005). Before starting the observations, the researcher should try to find out as much as possible about the site where he will be observing.
At the KCE, site visits are common to allow the researchers to become familiar with the research topic and setting. This is often combined with interviews or less formalized talks to key persons on the site. After a number of site visits the scope of the research project is determined and precise research questions are formulated.