In this article, we will talk about data collecting methods. First of all, we need to understand what data is and what kind of data can be defined. There are three types of data: primary, secondary, and mosaic information. The main differences between these three categories are the availability and the source.
Data Collecting Methods
Of all the kinds of information, what we can get from first-hand experience is primary data. Primary data is always collected from our research instead of books or any other written material, which come from second-hand sources. To get primary information, we can pick three data collection methods.
A questionnaire is the most common data collecting method. The process may look very simple because after we have a sample or focus group, we just ask the questions and record the answers. The tough part is finding the perfect group and questions. To ask the questions, we can use our own survey, which can be filled in online or in a personal format. Another way to ask questions is through interviewing. The biggest advantage of this data collecting method is that we can get tons of data. However, at the same time, the value of the data will not be satisfying. Participants will not give us perfectly correct answers. Unconsciously or consciously, they will lie.
Recommended Tools for Questionnaires
- Google Forms: https://www.google.com/intl/en-GB/forms/about/
- Survey Monkey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/
- Key Survey: https://www.keysurvey.com/
- Zoomerang: http://www.zoomerang.com/
- SnapSurveys: http://www.snapsurveys.com/survey-software/mobile-surveys/
The second option is observation. Compared to questionnaires, observation has a big advantage: the observed person does not know that he or she is being observed, so the behavior will be natural. In this case, we can lock out the unconscious or conscious lies. On the other side of the coin, this data collecting method can only be used on a small scale. We can collect data about in-store consumers’ behaviors, for example, such as their walking routes or their behavior while standing in front of a shelf.
Observation can be used not only in the offline field but in online web stores or any other website. We can use eye-tracking cameras that are often used in the field of neuro-marketing or different online applications to track the user’s actions.
Recommended Tools for Data Collecting:
The third data collecting method is the experiment. It is a creative and fast-developing type of data collecting. The common characteristics of every experiments are laboratory conditions and simulated market. When we are collecting data from an experiment, we always use one or both of the methods above as well. The biggest advantage of this data collecting method is that we can find answers to questions that could not be answered with other measuring techniques. The disadvantages of the experiment are that there are just a few qualified companies for leading the process and that it needs deep planning and preparing to collect usable data.
The collected data can be separated into two groups: qualitative and quantitative. You can find more information about this topic in another article on our blog.
There are three methods of data collecting we can use: questionnaires, observation and experiments. However, collecting data is not the end of the process. We need to organize, systematize, and evaluate the collected data. To do so, we can use many analyzing and visualizing tools. Based on our experience, we recommend AnswerMiner from https://www.answerminer.com