Everyone loves data. After all, it is what we have to go by and what we base our decision making on. Whether the objective is to understand the response to our recently launched product or our employee satisfaction level, we need to analyze data and lots of it. In our previous blog posts, we told you about the different aspects of online surveys as a data collection technique and how fast and convenient it is. In this post, we’ll look at some other data collection techniques that organizations can employ.
Census: Generally, most data collection techniques use subsets of the whole population to collect their data. In Statistics, the smaller the sample size, the more the likelihood of incorrect/erroneous conclusions. Instead of adopting statistical sampling methods, organizations can employ the census data collection technique where data is collected from every individual of the population. This is advisable only in the case of small population sets though as it becomes a cumbersome and costly approach for larger sets.
Focus Groups: In this technique, a group of people are asked questions about their perceptions or attitude towards a product, idea, service, or concept. This technique can be employed both to generate ideas and get feedback. Here, there is direct oral communication between both the parties involved and responses are generated more as a result of group dynamics than individual perceptions. This approach offers best results when the focus group has diverse and varied opinions about the subject.
In-depth Interviews: In this approach, a small number of participants will be selected and asked in-depth open ended questions designed to extract as much information as possible. These differ from surveys as surveys do not necessarily need human intervention and the questions and question sequences are fixed. Interviews are conducted face-to-face with the interviewer setting aside enough time to let the respondent give comprehensive answers and later ask follow-up questions. There is no sequence of questions; the questions are guided by the answers and a skilled interviewer knows how to extract the necessary information from the participant. This approach is best used when the target population is small and knowledgeable.
Whatever the technique employed, it should suit the ultimate objective of collecting good solid data from which clear, actionable insights can be gained.