8 TOOLS & METHODS TO HELP YOU IN DATA COLLECTION DURING MARKET RESEARCH
Data collection is a process of collecting, measuring, and analyzing accurate insights. Data collection is necessary for research using standard techniques. Data collection enables us to solve our queries. Data helps us to make future predictions and check outcomes. It is necessary to maintain accuracy during data collection. It is because our further work will depend on that data only. We should make sure to choose suitable data collection tools and methods. We should check the source of the data collection also.
Generally, we collect two types of data- Qualitative and Quantitative. Qualitative is descriptive data like nature, appearance. Quantitative is numerical data like statistics or percentages. For a businessman, it is necessary to gather data on the market and potential customers. This will help them to choose whether to proceed with their plan or make changes to it. Data collection is the base and foundation for any research and project.
NEED AND IMPORTANCE OF DATA COLLECTION-
Everybody says you should collect data before starting anything. Do a little research about it. But why it is so important to collect data. Let us find out some reasons telling us about the importance of data collection-
Data collection is the backbone for any process and research. If you can collect accurate data then it will reduce your workload. Data will help you to make better decisions. Also, data makes you acquainted with new opportunities. You will be able to reduce your mistakes and find correct solutions.
Data collection allows you to say in tune with the trends and get real insights. It also reduces the risk by giving information about a certain area. For example- If you are a businessman and want to launch a product in the market. Through data collection, you can know about the market forces and conditions. Then you will decide whether to go with that product or not.
Although, there are also some cons of data collection. Like it is a time-consuming process and a little costly also. But the returns of data collection are high and satisfactory. It can prevent us from any big future loss by giving proper information. That’s why every researcher, businessman, etc. collects data. They collect that data before continuing further with their work.
TOOLS & METHODS FOR DATA COLLECTION-
Following are some of the tools and methods useful to collect data–
- Interview method
An interview is a method where you communicate face-to-face with other people. Then collect data. There are three types of interview-
- Structured- In this interview, all the questions are framed earlier.
- Semi-structured- In this interview, some questions are framed earlier. Researchers have little freedom to ask anything.
- Unstructured- In this interview, nothing is framed earlier. You can ask anything from the interviewee anything.
This method is flexible and gives you the information in depth. It eliminates personal barriers and gives a fast response. You can collect data easily and quickly. You can also check the interviewee’s behavior.
2. Self-administered questionnaires and surveys method
A questionnaire is a method where you provide people a set of questions. The people have to answer those questions. This method is useful when you have to collect data from a group of people. It is a cost-effective method and gives you an opportunity to compare and contrast the data. With the help of questionnaires, a large geographical area can be covered.
In surveys, we collect and gather information from a lot of people. There are various types of services like telephonic, online, and face-to-face surveys. In surveys, we use questionnaires to collect data. Also, surveys are quick and easy to analyze.
3. Focus group discussions
In this method, we focus on a certain group of experts, say 6-10 people. These people talk about a certain topic and give their feedback. They provide quick information at a low cost. The researcher can directly contact the responders and discuss freely.
In this method, we gather information by observations. We focus and observe a particular phenomenon over some time. It is a simple method and gives great accuracy. It is mostly used by scientists while experimenting. We can use this method to know human behavior also. You can use checklists for this method. You can prepare certain criteria and then gather information. After that, you can make judgments about the outcomes.
5. Document study and records
Document study includes studying any document. The documents have written material about the topic for which we are collecting data. The accuracy of these documents is very high. As the document has written by the people who themselves have seen that particular event. These documents are easily available in public libraries that only cost a penny. Also, you can get access to such records through newspapers, web articles, NGO reports, etc.
6. Content analysis
Content analysis is the study of documents and communication. These documents can be texts of various formats, pictures, audio, or video. We can analyze every available content to collect data.
7. Case study
In case study, we prepare a certain case or scenario. Then we represent among some individuals and ask for their feedback. We can investigate thoroughly and deeply. We get to know about the ideas of general people also.
8. Delphi technique
In this technique, we ask a set of questions to a panel of experts. We don’t necessarily bring this panel face-to-face. Instead, we ask the same questions and then analyze and compare their answers.
These are some techniques that you can use for data collection. Also, you get to know how important it is to collect data. Data collection is very helpful in every aspect. It will provide you with a groundwork before starting any project. If you are a businessman then you will know about the risk and consumers. Then make your plans accordingly. If you are a writer, then data collection will tell you about facts and the topics that are popular nowadays. Even a student has to collect data for their project.
I hope you will get to know enough about data collection through this article.