Data collection has become an essential activity for companies of different types and sizes. It involves the collection and analysis of data to confirm any research done from a number of relevant sources. There are mainly two ways of collecting data, and they include a primary means and a secondary means of collection.
Primary means include interviews, the use of prepared questions, known as questionnaires; and focus groups. Basically, any means by which it can be gathered firsthand. The secondary means has to do with the use of sales reports, financial statements, business journals, and government records like tax records. It is second-hand data because it has already been collected by other researchers. This article will bring to light a few reasons why data collection is important for a company.
The collection of data empowers a company to make informed decisions
It empowers a business to make an informed decision based on the findings you have been able to gather. Data is said to be knowledge. Hence, the more data a company can gather, the more knowledge they have at their disposal for the company to make a decision that will, in turn, benefit them.
Data collection aids in the identification of problems
A problem can be identified when a company engages in data collection either using the primary or secondary ways of getting data. Sometimes, businesses send some of their employees to the public to gather data. They go about collating data either by interviewing where questions are asked, by giving out questionnaires with specific questions that will give them the answers they need or by making use of focus groups, which consist of five to 12 people, led by a moderator. Companies can also make use of the secondary method of data collection through the use of the internet, magazines, or journals. When the data is then collated, a company can then identify the problems seen and take action where necessary.
Data collection aids in market research
Market research involves the gathering of information on consumers’ needs and preferences. Data collection is a very important aspect of market research. Market research can be done by a company for many reasons. A company may want to find out if their customers have any issues with their goods or services, if their competitors are gaining more power over them, or if their consumers have any opinions concerning their goods or services. This can only be known when a company engages in market research through the collection of data.
Market research provides information on the market, the effect of the price – if the company decides to either increase or reduce the price), promotional methods, and existing competitors. It is one thing for a company to release a certain good or service to the public, it is another thing for the company to have feedback—if the customers are satisfied or not. With this information, a business can decide if it should continue, modify, or stop its processes.
It helps in market research because important decisions are made based on the results of the analysis of the data collected. The more information a company has, the better it can understand its customers and their needs.
Data collection gives a view of performance
Data collection is not just important for a business when it needs to identify a problem, it is also important for a company to know its performance. A business needs to know if they are meeting its objectives. They also need to know if their departments are also meeting their objectives and the department performance. The result of the data collection will show if their investments and efforts have been beneficial to the company. The results gotten from the data collection will inform them of a decision to make – either to reduce cost or to re-strategize. Sincerely, no business likes waste.
It gives a clearer understanding of your audience
Data collection is important for a company to understand its audience. Trying to know a customer’s requirements individually is quite impossible. Business owners can use different methods of data collection to achieve this.
Data collection aids in being strategic
The resources of a company can be limited. No company will want to put its scarce resources anywhere when it has not proven that it can be beneficial to the company. Analysis of the data collected will help a company make strategic decisions. Knowing the particular area that should be placed as a priority over others is important in helping a business grow.
No matter the kind of company one is running, the more data a company has about its customers, the better a company can understand the needs of its customers, which is very important. An important thing a company must consider while gathering data is to make sure that the data collected is accurate, as each result impacts the decisions to be made. A faulty data collection will yield an incorrect result, which will lead to an incorrect decision. For more information, see Hello Pareto.