Data collection tools have changed the way market research is done. They have turned data collection and analysis into a smart process that improves business outcomes, which means are an important aspect of any business as they collect, measure, and analyze data that can be used for business decisions, strategic planning, research, and other things.
Gone are the times when organizations used to make strategies based on assumptions, instincts, and possibilities. Today, they cannot afford to make a mistake or miss a chance and let the competitor win. Business leaders and analysts rely on data to drive growth and revenue.
Data collection tools help to understand employees and customers better by collecting their feedback, opinion, and choices. They can help to improve their experience by meeting their expectations of products and services. To achieve this, it is necessary that the data is rich enough to be able to extract meaningful insights from it. This will help for better market segmentation practices.
With the correct data, a business can figure out how to improve its performance and make plans for the present and the future.
However, data collecting must be done reliably and efficiently for the results to be usable in a business environment. Inaccurate data will eventually lead to bad decisions, which is why it’s important to choose the best data collection tools for collecting data.
In this blog, we will discuss what a data collection tool is and explore the 7 best data collection tools to help you choose the best one.
What are Data Collection Tools?
Data collection tools are essential instruments used to gather data in research that enable you to collect and store data from a variety of sources. They come in various forms, ranging from simple paper questionnaires to advanced software applications.
Choosing the right data collection tool is crucial for obtaining accurate and reliable data. Researchers must consider the research question, the population being studied, and the desired level of detail when selecting the appropriate data collection tool. Each tool has its strengths and weaknesses, so the one that best suits their research objectives should be chosen.
There are a lot of different kinds of tools for collecting data, and the best one for a given situation depends on the user’s specific data needs and goals.
Types of data collection tools
The success of market research depends on the accuracy of the data collected. However, it doesn’t end here. It is important to analyze this data such that the management executives can make sense out of it.
There are multiple data collection tools available in the market. Choosing the right one depends on your requirements. Some of the most commonly used data collection methods are
InterviewsInterviews are a data collection method by which one person asks a series of questions to another who is part of the target audience. The one-to-one interview can be conducted in person or over the phone call. The answers are recorded and analyzed to understand their behavior, choices, and experiences. An interview gives high-quality of data as the respondent is less likely to give false responses when facing someone directly. The limitation of this mode of collecting data is that it is not feasible for large-scale data collection. Also, it is time-consuming to interview many people on a one-to-one basis. Interviews are most appropriate when the subject is complex or sensitive.
Observation is a data collection technique in which the target audience is given the problem statement, and their responses are noted with minimum interference from any moderator.
While the respondent is busy thinking about answering the questions, their body language, mannerisms, facial expressions, voice tone, etc are noted. These non-verbal signs are an important input for making decisions.
The best thing about this method is that it requires less preparation on the researcher’s part. The downside is that the respondents might get conscious of themselves if somebody is constantly observing them. It might even make them feel uncomfortable.
Observation is a data collection technique in which the target audience is given the problem statement, and their responses are noted with minimum interference from any moderator. While the respondent is busy thinking about answering the questions, their body language, mannerisms, facial expressions, voice tone, etc are noted.
These non-verbal signs are an important input for making decisions. The best thing about this method is that it requires less preparation on the researcher’s part. The downside is that the respondents might get conscious of themselves if somebody is constantly observing them. It might even make them feel uncomfortable.
Surveys are a list of questions designed in such a way that they touch upon various features of products and services. Based on the data collected, various analytical algorithms are run, and reports are generated. Surveys are conducted through online data collection tools by which the survey questions can be distributed through email, website, mobile app, QR code, or social media platforms.
These data-gathering tools have the ability to generate various reports such as Trend Analysis, Data Segmentation, Correlation Analysis, Conjoint Analysis, etc. Often in large enterprises, multiple teams use the reports and so need to be shared with many people.
This creates a need to export the reports in commonly used formats such as .xls, .doc, or .pdf. Moreover, the survey data can be used further by integrating third-party apps with the survey builder tool. This multiplies the usability of the data collected and improves ROI.
Survey builder software comes with a lot of flexibility as the user can select from a variety of question types and add logic to customize the flow of survey based on the answers given by respondents.
The respondents can answer based on their convenience. In case a respondent has started the survey but hasn’t finished, the survey administrator can send scheduled reminders and increase the response rate. Surveys can reach a vast audience simultaneously and collect a lot of data in lesser time as compared to other methods.
With the growing use of technology, data is collected at various points from manufacture to delivery. This data can be used to improve business outcomes. Historical records, application usage data, sales reports, GPS location coordinates, etc, are some of the examples from which useful data can be gathered. Such data collection methods can be used when you want to optimize existing systems instead of creating new ones.
Focus groups are a group of people who come from various fields of life. They are subjected to a group discussion in the presence of a moderator. As people come from different backgrounds, it leads to exploring various angles of thought. It is believed that diversity in thoughts leads to innovation. Focus groups help stakeholders to validate the facts on the spot and collect a diverse set of data. This method of data collection suffers from the risk of the presence of an over-influential person in the group. The moderator must be capable of managing the discussion and balancing the dynamics of the group. Focus groups are apt for beta testing of newly launched products.
Data collection tools must be selected based on low barriers to entry, ability to scale and advanced features beyond basic data collection.
Top 7 Best Data Collection Tools
There are many different kinds of tools for collecting data, such as data collection surveys, data collection apps, and general data collection software. Here’s a list of data collection tools you can use to analyze data at work:
QuestionPro is a survey platform and one of the best data collection tools. They have easy-to-use software that has tools for creating, distributing, and analyzing online surveys, polls, forms, and quizzes. With these tools, users can easily gather and analyze data.
Businesses, researchers, and organizations use it as a data collection tool to gather insights and data from specific people. It is one of the best data collection tools, especially helpful for businesses and organizations needing feedback or researching the market.
- Real-time data analysis capabilities
- Pre-made templates
- Multiple question types and formatting options
- Real-time survey insight
- Advanced skip logic and piping functionality
QuestionPro premium pricing begins at $99.00 per month.
Magpi is an application that provides mobile forms for field data collection. This information can then be put into online dashboards and reports that update in real-time or can be added to online systems. Magpi is often used by businesses that want to do maintenance surveys, equipment inspections, site inspections, and progress reports.
- Interactive voice response
- Offline data entry
- logical branching
Their basic pricing plan starts at $250.00, and enterprise pricing starts at $1000.00 monthly.
- Zonka Feedback
It is one of the most widely used data collection tools and feedback collection tools. Zonka is also widely used to analyze customer interviews or surveys. You can do three types of surveys: NPS, CES, and CSAT.
Customers’ website experiences can be captured through popups, feedback buttons, embeds, and links. With Zonka’s WYSIWYG editor, you can do interesting surveys in just a few minutes.
- Pre-made templates
- Real-time data analysis capabilities
- Conditional branching
Professional pricing starts at $99.00 monthly with a free trial opportunity.
You may develop forms to collect data, share them online, and receive fast alerts with Zoho. There are more than 30 different types of fields, themes that can be changed, templates for different situations, and a simple user interface. It lets you make beautiful and useful forms for all your needs.
Zoho Forms is the front-end software for data collection systems that is very reliable and can be used with many different applications.
- Allow sharing form links on social media
- Form creation both online and offline
- Location-based Surveys
They have 4 sets of pricing. The pricing starts from $14.00 monthly.
It is a dependable data collection tool that allows anyone to develop forms or product pages easily. With Paperform, you may gather more than 20 different sorts of data online, including files, eSignatures, emails, text, addresses, and photographs.
Your data is also automatically formatted by the question fields, making it easy to inspect, export, and analyze.
- Export data anytime in PDF, CSV, or Word doc formats
- Zapier integration
- Data is stored in the cloud and is protected by SSL
They categorized their pricing into 3. The starting (essential) price begins at $20.00 monthly.
FastField is one of the best data collection tools with advanced features that make collecting and sending data easy, and it also gives you tutorials to help you learn how to make forms.
This tool for collecting data can also show large amounts or specific types of data right away in charts, graphs, or other types of reports that are easy to understand.
- Easy to use
- Zapier integration is possible
- It supports multiple mobile form apps
FastField pricing starts at $20.00 per month.
- Device Magic
Device Magic is one of the best tools for collecting data that lets you manage your teams at different job sites or survey locations.
Drag-and-drop is a feature of this tool that makes it easy for beginners to get started. Its answers can be time-stamped or geo-stamped automatically to show when and where the form was filled out.
- Drag and drop functionality
- Time-stamped automatically
- Geo stamped
Contact Device Magic for pricing details.
Why is QuestionPro one of the best data collection tools?
QuestionPro is a data collection platform that enables you to create and distribute surveys and collect participant responses. You can use the platform to build your survey, choose your target audience, and decide how you want to distribute the survey.
They give you many ways to analyze and report on your collected data, such as real-time data visualization, exporting to Excel or CSV, and integrating with other tools like Google Analytics.
QuestionPro has many features that can help you do good surveys and collect good data. QuestionPro can help you collect and analyze data, whether you are a researcher, a business owner, or just someone who wants to hear what people think. And for those reasons, QuestionPro is one of the best data-collection tools for your company.
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Finding the best data collection tools is important when your business depends on data. You need a perfect real-time platform to collect data and show a full analysis to help you make decisions.
QuestionPro can be the best option for you if you are searching for the best data collection tools. You can create surveys with ready and customized questionnaires and distribute them through various ways like email and social media or embed them on a website.
Then you can collect feedback as data from the participants. Finally, you will be able to view the collected data in real-time and use the analysis and reporting tools to look deeper into the results.
Try QuestionPro today!