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What Are the Different Methods of Data Collection?

What Are the Different Methods of Data Collection?

Data collection is the act of assembling, evaluating, and managing information with the aim of analyzing results and finding solutions. The term is mostly used as a research module in both sciences and arts.

For business owners, gathering data helps entrepreneurs store and evaluate valuable information about new and existing customers. Its importance includes empowering business owners in making accurate decisions; assisting in the identification of problems; helping staff members develop accurate theories; providing evidence for arguments; creating strategic approaches to challenges; and analyzing the company’s funds.

Thanks to technology, various platforms such as Hello Pareto, function to help companies accurately collect and measure data. In addition to this, they help companies stay focused on high-leverage jobs, scale influencer marketing, grow B2B sales pipelines, delegate tasks, and reorder manual procedures into automated ones.

Classifications of Data Collection

There are two major categories of gathering data. They are quantitative data collection and qualitative data collection.

Quantitative collection involves countable data methods. Qualitative data, however, involves data gathering strategies that have no numerals.

Quantitative data gathering strategies consist of questionnaires or surveys, records, or documentation. Qualitative data gathering strategies comprise interviews, oral history, focus groups, and observations.

Methods of Gathering Data

For information to possess integrity, it must be accurately received. The act of accurately accessing and gathering data involves six methods or strategies.

All of these strategies will be subsequently discussed in detail below.

One-on-One Interviews

This is a very popular means of data collection. It is so common that anyone can draft a list of questions for an interview. However, not everyone has the skills to efficiently ask questions.

When conducting an interview, an individual skilled in this strategy knows that rather than asking memorized or handwritten questions, generating follow-up questions in accordance to the responses of the interviewee is necessary. Unlike other strategies, which have limited questions, interviews provide flexibility.


This is the act of closely monitoring a person or thing. It is a statement based on what a person (an observer) has seen, heard, or noticed.

This data gathering strategy is subjective, as it means that the observer or group of observers determine the overall result based on their judgment. Unlike other methods, observation can provide specific measurements, such as the dynamic of an event or argument.

Focus Groups

This data collection strategy combines other methods such as conducting interviews, carrying out surveys, and observations. A focus group is simply a group of persons from the same or similar demographic who are studied for their responses to specific questions, situations, or experiences.

The questions frequently asked are geared towards grounding the minds of the participants and analyzing their collective preferences.

Oral History

Oral history is the act of assembling and evaluating historical information relating to people, culture, events, or families, via audio and sound. It is the collection of experiences from directly affected individuals.

It helps the information collector to dive into the personal lives and experiences of individuals. This sort of assembling strategy is characterized by the belief that parts of information are intimately interconnected to one major reference.

Documentation and Recordings

Rather than asking questions or conducting interviews, information can be gathered by assessing already existing documentations and recordings. A few of them include: minutes, attendance, and financial records.

Unlike other methods, this type of data gathering strategy requires little or no expenditure, as information is gotten from previously completed research.

Surveys and Questionnaires

This method constitutes limited and restricted questions. It does not allow for open-ended interactions or follow-up responses to real-time conversations.

It is classified as a quantitative collection strategy because of its numerous analytical processes, which often allow for the integration of numerical values. Furthermore, it is mostly useful when gathering huge amounts of information from a large percentage of people.

The typical technique used in conducting questionnaires and surveys is via written or virtual forms, but the latter technique is a more efficient and advanced way.


The ultimate goal of data collection is to provide sufficient proof, which allows for the evaluation of arguments and the answering of certain questions. It is implemented in all disciplines to ensure that all data processing strategies are coherent, true, and devoid of errors.

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by Dirk DeBie // Contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.