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Data collecting methods-Primary data

In this article we will write about Data Collecting methods. First of all we need to understand what data is, and what kind of data can be defined.  There is 3 type of data: Primary, secondary, and mosaic information.  The main difference between this 3 categories is the availability and the source.

Data collecting methods

Primary data

All kind of information, what we can get from a first-hand is primary data. Primary data is always collected from our research instead of books or any other written material, from second-hand source. To get primary information we can pick 3 data collection methods.


surveyorquestionnaireThis is the most common data collecting method. The process may looks very simple because after we have the sample or focus group, we just ask the questions and record the answers. The tough part is to find the perfect group and questions. For this we can use our own made survey which can be filled online or a personal format. The other way is the interviewing. The biggest advantage in this data collecting method is that we can get tons of data, but at the same time the value of the data won’t be satisfying. Participants won’t give us perfectly correct answers. Unconsciously or consciously they will “lie”.

Recommended tools for data collecting:



requirements-gathering-part-2-resizeThe second option is the observation. Compared to the questionnaire, it has a big advantage. The “Observed” person does not know that he/she is observed so the behavior will be naturally. In this case we can lock out the unconsciously or consciously lie. But on the other side of the coin this data collecting method can be used in a small scale. We can collect data for example about the in-store consumer behaviors like walked route or behaving while standing front of the shelf.

The observation can be used not only in offline field but in online webstores or any other websites. For this we can use eye-tracking cameras what is often used in the field of neuromarketing, or different online applications are tracking the user’s actions.

Recommended tools for data collecting:


observation2The third data collecting method is the experiment. It is a creative and fast developing type of data collecting. The common characteristics of every experiment are laboratory conditions and simulated market. When we are collecting data from an experiment always use one or both of the written methods above too. The biggest advantage of this data collecting method is that we can find answers for questions which could not be answered with other measuring techniques. The disadvantage of the experiment is there are just a few qualified companies for leading the process and it needs deep planning and preparing in favor of usable data.

The collected data can be separated in two groups:  Qualitative and Quantitative data. About this topic you can find more information in another article of our blog.


There are 3 methods of data collecting methods (Questionnaire, Observation, Experiment), we can use but it is not the end of the process. We need to organize, systematize and evaluate the collected data. For this we van use many analyzing and visualizing tools. Based on our experience we can recommend AnswerMiner on

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