You may have heard that when it comes to strategic decision-making, data collection is the backbone of success. But why is data-driven decision-making so critical? The reason companies collect and analyze data is to help them understand what customers want, specific services and products they’re interested in, and how they like to interact with a business. Knowing more about customers allows businesses to align their strategic planning with the needs and preferences of their target market.
What is Data Collection?
Data collection is the process of gathering and analyzing data from different sources to find solutions to problems, identify trends and probabilities, and evaluate possible outcomes. It is a crucial first step in any market research project. If high-quality data isn’t collected at this stage, it is difficult to draw worthwhile insights from research results. The goal of data collection is to provide brands with rich, reliable, and accurate information so they can make informed decisions.
Qualitative vs. Quantitative Market Research
When comes to the type of data companies collect, it’s important to differentiate between quantitative and qualitative data. Both can be collected in a single interaction with customers, but how they are analyzed and used is different.
The best way to look at quantitative data is that this information is concrete. It’s data that’s expressed as a number and can be used for statistical analysis and mathematical calculations. For example, shirt size, how long men spend in the sporting goods store, prices, amount purchased, etc. These data points can be converted to numbers, graphics, and tables to illustrate trends and findings.
Qualitative data is information that doesn’t lend itself to being nailed down to a specific measurement. It’s comprised of words or phrases, pictures, opinions, and symbols but not numbers. Examples are ethnicity, socioeconomic status, favorite shopping locations, and more.
To make informed decisions about marketing and other business campaigns, companies should determine which type of information or which combinations of data should be collected to reach their goals.
Why is Data Collection Important for Companies?
Data collection and analysis provide a comprehensive overview of what a company is doing well, areas where things can improve, how their target market feels, or sheds light on what’s impacting the bottom line. Once there’s a clear vision of where things stand, it’s much easier to move forward with a properly crafted strategy.
Here are just a few ways data can be leveraged to boost business:
Better understand the market:
When firms know more about customers, it’s easier to tweak different aspects of a business to better fit their needs. Data can also influence how companies choose to communicate with target markets, optimize websites, and improve the user experience.
Fine-tune marketing efforts:
Without learning as much as they can about their customers, companies are at a huge disadvantage when it comes to tailoring their marketing plans.
Planning any type of strategy without using solid data collection and analysis isn’t realistic or productive. The information gleaned from the data can guide how firms market products and services. It also reveals the most profitable marketing tactics based on how customers respond to different types of campaigns which in turn makes targeting the needs of the consumer base much more effective.
Spot emerging trends:
Monitoring your market will allow you to keep track of changing customer needs and identify trends that could lead to new opportunities and can help you stay ahead of your competitors.
Comprehensive Market Research & Data Collection Services
Working with a market research firm for data collection not only ensures your research is high-quality and reliable, but market researchers also have the experience and expertise to ensure that your findings are accurate and unbiased.
ResponsivMR is a highly experienced team of data collection specialists, dedicated to streamlining your fieldwork operations. Since 1992, we have completed more than 10,000 studies in 60+ countries. Our end-to-end market research services ensure your research is high-quality, accurate, and reliable.
Our team can address your company’s data collection needs, plus project management, sample recruitment, data processing and coding, data analysis, and more. Contact us today to chat with a data collection specialist.