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Data Collection Methods

Data collection is the process in which information is gathered from various sources. For doing the market research, data collection is the first step and furthers all market research is based on collected data. Researcher has to adopt various data collection methods to collect the more relevant and authentic data (Axinn & Pearce, 2006). Due to the dynamic environment, market research is very important to know customer’s taste and preferences. Questionnaires, interviews, sampling, survey, case studies etc. are some of the data collection methods that can be used by researcher (Sapsford & Jupp, 2006).

Questionnaires are the method in which specific set of questions are framed and these questions are asked from respondents. This method will give more relevant data as the information is directly gathered from respondents (Brace, 2008). Interviews are suitable, when personal information is required from respondents. Researcher asks some general question from the respondents. In case of sampling, researcher takes a sample of the research issue that represents the whole issue. It is more suitable, when the area of research is very wide. In survey method, researcher gathers the information related to current scenario of market and also analyzes the target market (Flick, 2009). Analyzing case studies helps in identifying the past trends of an organization and further it helps in making decisions for future.

Process of Data Collection

For the collection of relevant data and to explore various information researcher has to adopt the process of data collection. Following the data collection process helps in gathering data in systematic manner. Data collection process includes four steps; these are identifying problem, selecting method of data collection, fieldwork or market research, and evaluation of collected data (Wolf, 2008). Firstly, researcher has to identify the areas and problems that arises the need of research and data collection. Secondly, on the basis of problem, researcher has to select data collection method that will be more suitable for the research issue. After choosing the data collection method, third step is market research, which includes researcher has to do the fieldwork and gathers data from various sources.

Lastly, researcher scrutinizes all the facts, data and information and evaluates the relevant and authentic data that is useful and most suitable for solving research problems (Smith & Albaum, 2005). This process of data collection is followed in every organization. Researcher must collect the data very carefully and accurately because these data is used as base for doing further market research.

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Axinn, W.G., & Pearce, L.D. (2006). Mixed method data collection strategies. UK: Cambridge University Press.
Brace, I. (2008). Questionnaire Design: How to Plan, Structure and Write Survey Material for Effective Market Research (2nd eds.). UK: Kogan Page Publishers.
Flick, U. (2009). An Introduction to Qualitative Research (4th eds.). London: SAGE.
Sapsford, R. & Jupp, V. (2006). Data collection and analysis (2nd eds.). London: SAGE.
Smith, S.M. & Albaum, G.S. (2005). Fundamentals of marketing research. London: SAGE.
Wolf, J. (2008). The Nature of Supply Chain Management Research. Germany: Gabler Verlag.


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