What Are the Methods of Data Collection: A Complete Guide

Data Collection

Data is one of today’s most valuable assets. You can better understand your customers’ needs and wants by knowing more about them. This helps you exceed customer expectations, and it allows you to design messaging and products that are appealing to them.

How can you collect this data? The data management platform is a key tool for collecting, organizing, analyzing, and activating data. The DMP, or data management platform, can assist you in all of these steps and give you the tools to make the most out of your data. With the help of your DMP, there are many data-gathering techniques you can use. Let’s look at some of these data-gathering methods.

Definition of Primary Data Collection

Primary data is data that you have collected yourself and not data that was gathered from another party initially recorded it. Primary data is information that comes directly from the source. This data will only be available to you.

Primary data, which is the data that businesses collect about customers, is often first-party data. First-party data refers to information that you collect directly from your customers. This could be data that you have gathered online, data from your customer relationship management software, or data you gather from customers via surveys and other sources.

First-party data is different from third-party or second-party data. Second-party data refers to the first-party information of another company. You can either purchase it from the company that collected it or buy second-party data in a private market. A company may have third-party data if it has gathered information from multiple sources. This type of data can be purchased and sold on a data exchange. It typically includes a lot of data points.

First-party data is directly from your audience so you can be confident in its accuracy and relevance to your business.

Second-party data can have many of the same benefits as first-party. It is directly from the source It gives you confidence in its accuracy and also provides insights that you wouldn’t be able to get from your first-party data. The primary benefit of third-party data is the fact that it offers more scale than other types of data.

Different data types can be used in different situations. You can also combine different types of data. Your dataset will usually be built on first-party data. You may need to add second-party or other third-party data if your first-party data is not sufficient. These additional types of data can help you reach new audiences or increase your audience size.

This article will focus on primary data. You need a strategy to collect primary data, as it is the type of data that you gather by yourself.

Also read: Customer Data Management: Definition of CDM, Benefits and Best Practices

Quantitative vs. Qualitative Data

Quantitative data can be expressed in numbers, values, and quantities. It describes things in concrete terms that can be measured. It can include information such as the number of customers that purchased a product, the five-star rating of a customer, and how long a visitor spent on your site.

Quantitative analyzing data is easy because it’s numeric and quantifiable. Analyzing quantitative data can reveal insights that will help you understand your audience better. This type of data is very objective because it deals with numbers. It has a reputation as being reliable.

Qualitative data can be described rather than numerical. It is more abstract and difficult to measure than quantitative data. These data can include descriptive phrases or opinions. This could be an online review written by a customer about a product or an answer to an open survey question about the type of videos that a customer prefers to watch online. Also, it might include a conversation between a customer and a customer service representative.

Qualitative data can help you understand the “why” behind quantitative data. It is useful to supplement quantitative data and form the basis of your data strategy. This article will concentrate on collecting primary quantitative data because it is fundamental.

How to Collect Data

Although there are many methods for collecting different types of quantitative data, there is a common process that you should follow regardless of the method you use. These are the five data collection steps that make up this process.

1. Determine What Information You Want to Collect

First, you must decide what information you want to collect. The first thing you should do is decide on the topics you’d like to cover, from whom, and how much. These questions will help you answer your goals. You might decide to gather data on which articles are most popular among your visitors between 18 and 34 years old. You may also want to know the average age of customers who purchased a product from your company in the past month.

2. Set a Timeframe for Data Collection

Next, create a plan to collect your data. You should set a time frame for data collection in the initial stages of your planning process. It is possible to collect some types of data continuously. For example, transactional data or website visitor data can be confusing. You may wish to establish a system for long-term tracking of that data. However, if you are tracking data for a campaign, you will track it over a set period. In these instances, You’ll be given a plan for when and how you will collect your data.

3. Determine Your Data Collection Method

This step will allow you to choose the data collection technique that will be the heart of your data-gathering plan. Select the best collection method. You will need to think about the type of data that you wish to collect. The time frame in which it will be achieved and other aspects that you have determined. In the next section, we’ll discuss various methods that you can use.

Also read: Data Storytelling: How to Tell a Story with Data

4. Collect the Data

After you have completed your plan, You can start data collection by implementing your data collection strategy. Your DMP can be used to store and organize your data. You should stick to your plan, and keep track of its progress. If you collect data on a regular basis, it may be helpful to set up a schedule that will outline when you will check in and update your plan. As new information becomes available or conditions change, you may need to update your plan.

5. Analyze the Data and Apply Your Findings

After you have collected all your data, it is time to analyze and organize it. Analyzing data is essential because it transforms raw data into valuable insights you can use to improve your products, marketing strategies, and business decisions. To assist with this step, you can use the analytics tools included in our DMP. Once you have identified patterns and insights within your data, you are able to implement these findings to improve your business.

7 Ways to Collect Data

How do you collect the data necessary to achieve your goals? There are many ways to collect primary and quantitative data. Some methods involve asking customers directly for data, others involve monitoring customer interactions and some include observing customers’ behavior. The type of data that you collect and your goals will determine which one is best. These are the most popular types of data collection today.

1. Surveys

One way to directly request information from customers is through surveys. They can be used to collect quantitative or qualitative data or both. Surveys are a collection of questions that respondents must answer in a few words. Participants often have a choice of several responses. Surveys can be conducted online, by phone, or in person. An online survey that you host on your site or with a third party is one of the most straightforward. The survey link can be shared on social media, via email, and in pop-ups within your website.

2. Online tracking

If you have an app, your website and business website are great tools to collect customer data. A visitor to your website creates up to 40 data points. This data can be accessed to show you how many people visited your website, how long they spent on it, what they clicked on, and other details. This information may be collected by your website hosting provider. You can also use analytics software to access this data. Place pixels can be placed on your website. This allows it to place and read cookies to track user behavior. Lotame is able to assist you in this online data collection process.

Also read: What is Brand Tracking: A Ultimate Guide

3. Transactional data tracking

Your transactional data can provide valuable insight into your customers and business, regardless of whether you sell products in-store or online. Transactional records may be stored in customer relationship management systems. This data could be from your web shop, an e-commerce third party, or your in-store point-of-sale system. These data can provide insight into how many products your store sells, which products are most popular, and how often customers buy from you.

4. Online Marketing Analytics

Your marketing campaigns can also provide valuable data, regardless of whether they are run on search engines, webpages, or email. Even offline campaigns can be imported. You can import data from offline marketing campaigns that you have run into the software you use to place your ads. This will include information about who clicked on them when they clicked and what device they used. Lotame Analytics is another tool that can help you collect data about your campaigns. You can import offline data from your DMP to track the performance of offline ads, such as asking customers about their brand.

5. Social Media Monitoring

Another great source of customer information is social media. To help you understand your target audience, you can examine your followers list and see what commonalities they have. Monitoring mentions of your brand can be done on social media using tools such as setting up alerts, searching the brand name regularly, and monitoring third-party software. You can also get analytics on how your posts are performing from many social media platforms. You may also be able to get more detailed insights from third-party tools.

6. Collecting Subscription Data and Registration Data

You can gather valuable customer data by offering customers something in exchange for information. This can be done by asking customers and site visitors for basic information. This method has one advantage: leads that you receive are more likely to convert than those who have already expressed an interest in your brand. It is important to balance the data you request when creating forms to collect this information. Over-requesting can discourage people from taking part, but not enough will make your data less useful.

7. In-Store Traffic Monitoring

You can also track foot traffic in brick-and-mortar stores to gain insights. A traffic counter at your door is the best way to track how many people visit your store each day. This information will show you what are your busiest hours and days. This data may help you to understand what draws customers to your store during certain times. Installing motion sensors in security systems can help you track customer movements throughout your store. This sensor will give you data on which departments are most popular in your store.

4 Uses of Data Collection

Because you can use the data to make informed decisions, it is important to collect data. You will be able to make better decisions in marketing, sales, customer services, and other areas of your business if you have more accurate, high-quality data. The following uses of customer information are some examples.

1. Improve Your Understanding of Your Audience

If you have a large company or operate an online business, it can be hard or impossible to get to know all your customers. It will be easier for you to satisfy their expectations if you have a better understanding of your customers. Data collection allows you to better understand your audience and disseminate this information throughout your company. Using the primary data collection techniques described above, you can find out about your customers, what they’re interested in and what they want from you as a company.

Also read: Top 6 B2B Websites to Choose Your Audience for Brand Marketing

2. Identifying areas for Improvement or Expansion

Analyzing data can help you identify areas where your company excels and where you need to improve. This data can help you identify opportunities to expand your business.

Transactional data can help you determine which products are most popular and which do not sell well. This information could help you focus on your bestsellers and create similar products. To find out what is causing problems, you can also review customer complaints.

It is also possible to identify expansion opportunities using data. Let’s say, for example, that you own an eCommerce company and want to open a brick-and-mortar store. You can look at your customer data to see which areas your customers live in and where you could open your first store. Then you could expand to other similar areas.

3. Predicting Future Patterns

The data you collect can be used to predict future trends and help you prepare for them. You might notice that videos are more popular than articles when you examine the data on your website. This observation will lead you to invest more in your videos. You may also be able to predict more seasonal patterns and respond accordingly. You might find that pastel colors are most popular in spring and summer while darker shades are more popular in fall and winter. This will allow you to introduce the right colors in your stores at the right time to increase sales.

Even better, you can make predictions based on the customer’s level. Let’s say you sell software for businesses. It is possible that companies with a specific job title have many questions about tech support when they update their software. This information will allow you to provide support in a proactive manner, which can result in a great customer experience.

4. Personalize Your Content and Messaging Better

You can personalize the messages you send to your customers and visitors by learning more about them. This personalization is applicable to advertisers designing ads and publishers choosing ads to run. Content creators decide what format to use.

Data collection can be used to target specific audiences with marketing ads. Let’s say, for example, that you are a marketer trying to promote a new cereal brand. You can use actors from those age groups in your ads if your customer data indicates that most cereal-loving people are in their 50s or 60s. Publishers will likely have data about the topics that your site visitors are interested in reading about. Your audience can be divided based on their common characteristics and show those visitors content related to the topics they are most interested in.

Personalization can be extended to adjust your site to suit the user’s needs. Cookies can be used to track when someone visits your site, or to have them log in to verify their identity and access their personal user experience.

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