Data is a collection of facts, figures, objects, symbols, and events gathered from different sources. Data is a valuable resource for business ventures where it is important to understand the interests, wants, and needs of the customers. This helps to meet the customer’s expectations. Data is collected at various points from different audiences. For example, before launching a product, the company must collect data about product demand, customer preferences, and competitors. Data collection means organizing, analyzing, and activating the data. Data collection deduces the quality information required to make informed decisions.
Data collection is a methodical process of gathering information in a systematic manner to answer stated questions, test some hypotheses, and evaluate the results. Data collection emphasizes accurate and honest collection. To maintain the integrity of research, it is important to collect authentic data. It is important to use correct instruments and clear instructions to reduce errors. Data collection requires hard work, patience, and perseverance.
Data can be classified as primary data or secondary data.
Primary data is collected from first-hand experience (raw data). This data is gathered by the researcher for a specific purpose. Primary data collection involves quantitative methods and qualitative methods.
The qualitative method involves elements like feelings, emotions, or subjective perception of the researcher. The quantitative method includes a questionnaire with close-ended questions and using methods or correlation, regression, mean, and mode. Example – focus groups, group discussions, and interviews.
Secondary data collection refers to the gathering of the data collected by an individual from different sources. The Source of the data can be books, journals, and/or online portals.
By any method of data collection, it is necessary to maintain the authenticity of the research.
By using the correct tools, precision in data collection can be achieved.
Data must be collected in such a way that saves the researcher’s time and money.
To support the changes and innovation, it can be done by carrying research on this and collecting data.
Initially, it must be decided which topics will the information cover, the collector, and the amount of data required.
If the data must be collected regularly, a method of tracking data must be established along with the timeframe for data collection.
Data collection method involves using either primary data or secondary data; qualitative or quantitative method.
It involves the implementation of a data collection strategy and collection of data. Data can be stored and organized in DMP.
After data collection, it must be analyzed and organized. This data can be used to enhance marketing strategies, product, and business decisions.
Data collection tools allow researchers to collect data in different ways. The main methods of primary data collection include Questionnaires, Interviews, Focus group interviews, Observation, Survey, Case-studies, Diaries, Activity Sampling Technique, Memo Motion Study, Process Analysis, Link Analysis, statistical method, etc. Secondary data collection methods include books, journals, magazines, etc.
A questionnaire is a printed set of questions that is either open-ended or closed-ended. Questionnaires are stand-alone instruments of data collection that can be administered to the sample subjects either through the mail, phone, or online. The questionnaire can be asked on a paper or a different source.
The interviewer can ask questions either face-to-face or through telephone to the respondents. It is a time-consuming process and tedious if there are many participants. Different types of interviews are – Structured interviews (verbally administered interviews), semi-structured interviews (key questions), and Unstructured interviews (in-depth interviews with wide purpose).
In this, a small group of people (8-10 members) discuss the common areas of the problem. Discussion is regulated by the moderator among the group members. This data collection method focuses more on qualitative research.
Direct observations can be made which is a quick and effective way to collect data. The observation could be accomplished either as a complete observer, an observer as a participant, a participant as an observer, or as a complete participant.
Surveys are used to collect data from the target audience and to gather information about their preferences, opinions, choices, and feedback related to their products and services. Surveys can collect qualitative and quantitative data by using software to select a wide range of questions.
Polls comprise of open-ended questions or multiple-choice questions. They are shorter in length, hence easier to get responses from the people.
Books provide insight on how much work has already been done on the same topic and researchers can prepare a literature review.
Journals provide up-to-date information on the specific topic of research.
Magazines are also effective and newspapers as useful for political studies.
e-journals are more commonly available on an e-library containing the record of thousands of journals on a single platform.
Some unpublished data derived from records like diaries and letters can be useful.
Government records are very important for marketing, management, humanities, and social science research. Example – Census Data/population statistics, Health records, and Educational institutes’ records.
Due to innovative technologies, it has become possible to collect data by using advanced techniques. Researchers have provided us with powerful tools so the data is collected beforehand to get detailed information about the issue of concern. If the data isn’t analyzed and process accurately, then the data becomes a liability rather than being an asset. Data undergoes hypotheses testing to eliminate the assumptions and seek the exact reason. Collected data can provide multiple outcomes. Since 2020 has brought many changes around the world, it has changed the preferred tools of data collection due to digitization and social distancing. People are moving to modern and quick tools for data collection.
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