Most business owners, consultants, and marketing specialists often wonder about the right way to collect primary data. However, before you start searching for the magic method, here’s the thing: collecting primary data requires patience.
Primary data includes any data that the researcher personally collects. However, the question many research design professionals often ask themselves is: “How do I collect primary data?”
As a new entrepreneur, collecting primary data is one of the biggest challenges in data-driven businesses. The problem is that business owners are so busy building a brand that they don’t have enough time to collect and analyze data. As a result, they end up failing to track the data they need to make a big impact on their business.
Modern Ways to Collect Primary Data
So, to help you collect data, we’ve listed five of the most popular ways to get data. Collecting data doesn’t have to be hard, and you don’t have to spend hours collecting it. It’s just a matter of getting organized.
There are three kinds of surveys you can use to get data:
Online surveys. In this type of survey, you ask a question to a large group of people at once. This method allows you to quickly get a lot of data. All you have to do is place a survey on your website or blog. You can also share the survey on your social media, which will help you to gain more responses.
In-person surveys. With this method, you ask a specific person a question. This approach is often used by consultants to gain a lot of client feedback. You can either ask the question directly or ask them to fill in an online questionnaire.
Personal or direct surveys. This method lets you ask a specific person a question directly. It’s one of the most effective ways to gather data. You can contact the person directly using LinkedIn or Facebook. However, if you don’t have the right information, you will waste a lot of time.
2. Data Scraping
Collecting data doesn’t have to be time-consuming. You don’t have to go to all the hassle of sending people to your website. Instead, you can just grab data from other places.
This technique is called data scraping or web scrapping, and it’s one of the most popular ways to collect data. You just have to add one line of code to your website or blog, and the entire site will collect the data automatically.
If you use data scraping, all you have to do is find the right website, and you’re good to go. The most common websites you can use for data scraping include:
Google, Facebook, and Quora. All these sites allow you to search for free. Once you find the right one, just open it in your browser and look for the information you want.
Once you find the data you want, you just have to get rid of the unnecessary information. For example, if you want to collect data from a Google search, you don’t need to download the entire search page. Instead, you just have to download the data from Google’s API.
All these sites are simple to use, which means you won’t waste a lot of time collecting data. Plus, the data is usually free, and you can use it as many times as you want.
3. Surveys on Twitter
One of the most popular ways to collect data is using Twitter. Unlike Facebook or LinkedIn, Twitter doesn’t let you gather data from a lot of users at once. However, if you use Twitter and ask a specific question, you’ll be able to get a big response.
First, you have to register a Twitter account. You have two choices:
Automated. In this method, you will be asked a series of questions automatically. However, you won’t have access to the results. Plus, it’s hard to know if the automated survey has any value. If you are using this method, make sure you keep your Twitter account active and make sure it’s optimized.
Manual. This method lets you send out the survey manually. With this method, you have access to the results, and you can use it whenever you want. However, you’ll have to collect the information one by one.
To collect data, all you have to do is follow the simple steps below.
- Create your first survey.
- Fill out the description and choose your audience.
- Ask a question. Include a link.
You can either send out a link to the survey to your followers or place a survey link on your site.
4. Online Interviews
Online interviews are a type of primary data collection where research is conducted via the internet. Usually, the interviews are conducted by interviewer with interviewee while sitting in front of each other physically, thanks to the video conferencing tools and technology the physical presence of the respondent isn’t necessary.
Online interviews can be done through platforms such as Skype, MS Teams, or Zoom. Online interviews are beneficial as they allow for a larger geographical reach and can be conducted at a convenient time for both the researcher and the participants. This mode of interview saves a lot of time of researchers and the research participants who might need to travel otherwise. They also allow for anonymity, which can encourage honesty and openness from participants. However, online interviews can also be less personal than face-to-face interviews, affecting the quality of the collected data.
5. Documents and Record
Using this type of data collecting, significant changes over a certain period are tracked or projected by examining the organization’s current records and papers. The information may comprise the following:
- email records
- employee reports
- Call records
- logs of information
The following are some key benefits of employing records and papers as a form of data collecting for your business:
The information is already at hand. You don’t need to actively perform any research because the data you want is already available.
Simple tracking of the data gathered. Records and papers provide you with the ability to go back and review the details of a particular incident, which may help you identify solutions to problems like, for instance, why your supplies ran out much sooner than expected.
If you have a great idea to improve your business, you have to collect data. It’s the best way to make sure that you’re doing the right things to help your business grow. Unfortunately, collecting data doesn’t have to be a struggle. You don’t have to spend hours collecting the data you need.
You just need to be organized and have the right tools. For example, if you have a business selling shoes, you can collect data using online surveys or scraping. You don’t have to go out and collect people. You just need to fill out the right surveys or use the right scraping tool to collect the data.
As a result, you can be more productive and more successful. Plus, you can make sure you don’t miss out on any opportunity to help your business.