In today’s corporate world data is power, and for a business strategy to be worthwhile, it must be supported by substantial data. Moreover, without research, it will be difficult for organisations to identify areas of improvement.
It is important for business owners to learn how to collect relevant data. In order to be usable, data must be accurate, complete, timely, and reliable – not just a random set of facts with no purpose. With the right context, data can help your organisation make informed, critical decisions.
Why is Data Collection Necessary?
For a variety of reasons, several types of data are collected and measured. For example, business owners can look into the purchasing histories of their customers to find out which products are popular among specific age groups.
Furthermore, with the right data, organisations can segment their target audience and design more effective marketing strategies that suit the needs of their prospects. Marketing campaigns cost money, so it only makes sense to base them on actual data to avoid wasting resources.
Lastly, data-driven decision-making is more likely to produce fruitful action plans, and organisations can improve their reporting and forecasting accuracy. Making precise forecasts is especially important in tracking business trajectories.
Whatever your business objective may be, there are suitable methods of data collection that organisations can follow to get the information they need. Here are some of them:
6 Ways to Procure Data:
- Forms and Surveys
By distributing polls through online forms, organisations can ask customers for their insights and contact details. They can then use the survey results to determine which aspects of the business requirement change. The data can also help develop realistic customer profiles for their marketing efforts.
Keep in mind that people have an innate need to be heard. When customers know that their inputs are valued and organisations are willing to consider their suggestions, they may be more enthusiastic about sharing their thoughts.
Accordingly, choosing the specific type of survey to use is a crucial step in ensuring its effectiveness. A closed-ended survey offers predefined answers such as ‘yes’ and ‘no’ or multiple choices. This kind of survey is best for gathering data that is easily measured and analysed in numerical form.
Open-ended surveys, meanwhile, allow for more creative answers. Because nothing is predetermined, customers have the freedom to give more subjective and detailed responses.
Phone interviews with customers are also an excellent approach since organisations can get data directly from them. Interview data is highly individualised and can provide unique insights that cannot be obtained through regular surveys.
Interviews can either be informal or formal, depending on the company’s industry vertical. Some firms that routinely hold interviews prefer a more controlled approach, while others want a more relaxed and casual atmosphere.
- Online Engagement
There are many tools available for gathering and analysing customer behaviour data using online platforms. Organisations can track how users navigate their e-commerce site, such as where they tap, hover, and click. They can even measure how much time they spend on certain pages. By evaluating these behaviours, they can find out how they vary depending on the attributes and demographics of their website visitors.
Furthermore, this type of data collection is not limited to websites. Organisations can measure the effectiveness of social media marketing campaigns, as well, through metrics like impressions, reach, engagement, and link clicks.
Direct observations can also yield valuable information. For example, organisations can film events such as product demos and showcases and use the footage to acquire data based on the participants’ reactions. The main downside of this method, however, is that observers can sometimes be biased. It’s best to show the videos to a third party to get a more objective interpretation.
- Transaction Records
Customers’ order histories are a gold mine for substantial data. However, transaction data is not limited to purchases. All exchanges between businesses and customers are included. Some examples are payments, invoices, product returns, and inquiries on online chats.
Transaction records can help measure customer satisfaction. Therefore, organisations will be able to identify problems and formulate solutions to win their loyalty.
- Third-party suppliers
Trusted partners can provide curated datasets that can be combined with internal data to provide additional insight.
Gathering data is crucial for businesses of any size and industry. Without any significant data, it will be almost impossible to track a company’s growth and performance.
Additionally, data is essential for attaining different goals, such as improving e-commerce customer service and creating data-driven marketing campaigns. Hence, it’s necessary to consider your objectives when choosing methods to employ.
Regardless of the techniques organisations use, remember that keeping all information timely and up to date is key to the overall effectiveness of their data management plan.
By Gary Allemann, MD at Master Data Management.
Edited by Zintle Nkohla
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