Research and Data Collection
Let’s quickly define these two extremely important tasks before discussing their financial and operational significance for any business.
Research can be defined as investigating with the purpose of establishing facts. Experimentation, testing, exploration, and analysis are all part of the research process as well as synonyms for research itself. Research can be broadly divided into categories: quantitative and qualitative. It can further be classified into several categories depending on the types of methods applied, for instance:
- Descriptive research with observation, interviews, questionnaires, and surveys
- Experimental research with focus groups and case studies
- Correlation research with statistical analysis, data tables, and scientific experiments
Data collection is the process through which information is collected for research purposes. The gathering, measuring, and evaluating of information is data collection. This part of research is all encompassing because whatever the type or category of research, the basic elements are data. Data collection is established systematic process which not only allows for collecting relevant information, but also for testing the hypothesis, evaluating outcomes, and arriving on conclusions that can be acted upon to make useful strategies.
Why data collection is important for your business?
In terms of business objectives, the data involved can range from quantitative factors like market numbers, price values, competitors’ sales, and your own expenses etc. to qualitative factors like customer tastes, economic trends, efficiency prospects and productivity factors. The primary difference between these two forms of data that holds significance for businesses is the machine readability Vs the human factor. While it may be easy to collect and interpret the data about expenses and revenues, it is much harder to mechanize the emotional details in advertisements that pulls customers or the factors that contribute to sales changes like fashion choice or entry of new players etc.
This is where the cost factor comes in. A business not only needs good researchers and analysts, but also suitable, and possibly expensive, software that not only helps in collecting data but also separating the qualitative and quantitative parts within that data.
Another equally significant part of data collection is a company’s own private data – employee information and financial statements. This is where secrecy of the data also come in. Once again, there needs to be some investment made in data collection, maintenance, and secrecy.
How to make data useful?
Data itself is not as useful as formatted and properly detailed data. Successful businesses not only know how to collect data but also to transform it into usable information on which future strategies can be based for the growth of business. One of the key factors to make the most out of collected data is to define the sample size that best reflects your target research area. Secondly, you will also be better off if you compile different sections and sectors of data and see the bigger picture. For example if you have your company’s sales trends and your competitors’ sales trends, you would be better off by adding in the consumer tastes, weather factors, as well as pricing methods into consideration too along with comparing the individual strengths of your product Vs your competitors’ products.
Once you have the relevant data, you can divide the interpretations into several categories. From the revenue generation perspectives, you can utilize data for following categories, among others:
- Finding new target markets and defining potential customers
- Increase customer satisfaction and retention
- Gain customer feedback and improve customer service
- Track your business performance, social media reach, and efficiency of marketing campaigns
- Predict future trends and adapt your product and pricing strategies
An outsourcing partner is the better choice for you!
Data collection is an intensive process, and the complexities only increase with every step. And while data collection might be a task doable by anyone with the sense of research direction, the process of formatting and interpreting data is a duty only for the qualified. Proper data analysis can allow you to resolve hurdles and problems in your business as well, but that needs someone who not only understands the needs of your business but also how to use data to resolve problems.
This means that you will require researchers and qualified professionals for every segment of your business along with appropriate software needed to store, maintain, and project collected data. Along with the personnel, you will also need office space, relevant utilities, and extra expenses plus additional responsibilities of human resources. An alternative way, and a more cost effective at that, will be to hire an external partner.
An outsourcing company will not only provide you with qualified workforce, but considering the fact that they operate with a range of industries and have state of the art technology as well. They are in a better position to provide you with relevant determinants and dynamics of the industry, and can aide in extrapolating data into future trends so you can achieve better results. The best part is that all this is possible at a much lower cost than it would be if you were to hire individual professionals. At Intersoft BPO you will get all of the above mentioned benefits and then some. Get your quotes today!