“Data is the new oil.” — Clive Humby
Over the years, the word "data" has garnered a lot of attention, and rightly so. It has been increasingly seen that data has become the focal point around which good decision-making revolves - be it for the business, the people, or the products/services.
Here are some interesting facts to ponder over: According to Forbes, we created 90% of the world's data in 2017 and more importantly, we are only utilising 1% of it effectively. Seems like such a waste, doesn't it?
This is where market research apps can save the day. But before getting into how these survey apps can help us gather data - better and quicker, let's understand what is field data collection.
Field Data Collection: Understanding Its Diverse Components
Field Data Collection, as the name suggests, is the process of gathering and measuring accurate data for analysing specific outcomes and achieving predefined goals. An integral component of any market research, data collection has applications in multiple fields including and not limited to, Physical & Social Sciences, Humanities, Commerce, etc.
There are two types of data collection, raw footage (basic information that businesses can use) and research for a tangible product (used for testing purposes). Both these kinds of data collection can be done by way of observation, interviews, questionnaires, and focus group discussions. An important point to keep in mind is that field data collection is always done in a "natural" environment (an environment where the users will interact with the product) so as to make improvements on the usage of the product.
It's an exciting time for businesses looking to engage in market research and data collection. Some of the most path-breaking innovations have seen the light of day due to future-proof and relentless data collecting.
Take Apple's face recognition technology for example, which stems from collecting facial imaging data across multiple sources. Or take Amazon's latest offering, Alexa who responds to our voice commands thanks to thousands of hours of voice data collection.
By now, you may have understood that field data collection is as essential as it is innovative. Let's look at its other advantages:
- Helps test the functionality and success of products in question.
- Provides the "Ground Truth" without any scope for assumptions/misunderstandings.
- Ensures timely results that can be measured and analysed.
- Offers "additional" data that can be used for future purposes.
1. Maintaining Quality & Integrity of the Research
Capturing quality data that can translate into meaning, credible data analytics can be a primary roadblock for any business.
2. Unintentional Errors Due to Improper Tools & Logistics in Place
Not selecting appropriate data collection tools and the inability to have continued access can have far-reaching consequences on the results. This not only provides inaccurate information but also increases the margin for error and the probability of distorted findings - sins for companies trying to ace their market research capabilities.
3. Multiple Respondents that Can Cause Chaos, Non-Standardised Findings
A field data collection typically involves thousands of participants belonging to diverse locations, cultures, and basic profile. Integrating all these factors to extract standardised conclusions may become challenging.
4. Resource-Intensive in Terms of Manpower, Time, & Money
Majority research tasks require a steady investment of time, manpower, and money making it a long-term goal, not suitable for companies looking for short-term results.
It's no secret that the research is only as good as the data that drives it. So, for businesses looking to level the playing field in field data collection, we have two words for you: Survey Apps.
By using survey apps you can be assured of leveraging a data collection process that is seamless, secure, and streamlined. Simply put, you'll have greater control over how the data is collected, processed, and analysed.
Let's dive deep into its other benefits
1. Going the "Smart" & Simple Way
For a simplified data collection experience, survey apps are your ideal choice. What's more, some apps provide "smart" functionalities by allowing the forms to become tech-smart.
An example of this would be an app called "GoSurvey" which allows you to capture photos from your tablet/smartphone directly onto the photo field in the form (similar to ones on mobile application forms).
2. Reducing Errors & Fast-Tracking Outcome, While Being Cost-Effective by Going Paperless
Survey apps store information directly on the smartphone/tablet, thereby reducing any scope for errors and increasing overall productivity - crucial for any business. They also are a more cost-effective option as lesser number of resources need to be involved in logging data that could potentially take months.
3. Multi-Tasking While Providing a Diverse Range of Information
From capturing photos and QR codes to tracking location and storing signatures, this flexible tool can be used - offline or online for gathering more information in a shorter span of time. A win-win situation for all.
4. Leveraging Instant Access to Reliable, Useful Data
Data can be stored both, offline and online, and sync with the database once you go from being offline to online. This helps provide easy access to the data as-and-when required. It also helps provides real-time information, helping businesses understand what their customers need and increase their level of satisfaction.
Survey Apps: The "Super-Power" that Can Fuel Your Research
By now, it must be crystal clear that for spot-on data collection, market research apps are the way to go as they have countless possibilities. And going forward, these survey apps will act as a compass and a game-changer for businesses engaging in market research. After all, survey apps offer the sweet spot for successful outcomes - right at the intersection of data collection technology, meaningful business, and the most valued asset of all, the people involved.