10 online methods of collecting business data - a list worth trying (2023)

Data is one of the vital assets your business can have. The more information you have about an area (your customers, competitors, etc.), the better you can understand and influence it.

How to collect this data?

Every forward-looking company uses some method of collecting business data to analyze decisions, improve results and win.competitive advantage.

Today's online environment offers a variety of data collection tools and techniques that are powerful, innovative, cost-effective or free.

On this page:

  • List of the best methods and tools for online data collection in business and marketing research.
  • Infographic in PDF.

Data can help you evaluate the effectiveness of each decision. So you can maximize resources, simplify workflows and make your business more profitable.

To build and maintain a successful business, you need to collect and understand data about your customers' behavior, competitive strength, market trends, etc.

Now let's look at some of the most effective ways to collect data online.

1. Online surveys

Businesses of all sizes conduct online research to get and act on customer feedback.

An online survey is a questionnaire that people can fill out online.

Respondents can receive online surveys through various media channels, such as email, social media, embedded on a website, etc.

Respondents' responses are stored in statistical software tools for further data analysis.

Today, online surveys are one of the most popular and effective.methods of data collectionfor business and marketing research.

A key reason for their popularity is that online surveys are low-cost, convenient, time-saving, easy to use, and ready for analysis at any time.

Plus, with today's powerful online survey tools, you can see real-time results, create differentlytypes of graphsreport and share your results with anyone.

Some of the best free and paid online survey tools aregoogle forms,survey monkey,font,survive, gplanetary exploration.

2. Tools of competitive intelligence

If you want to win in your market and in your industry, one of the key things you need is data about your competition.

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Competitive intelligence tools are quite powerful data gathering methods. They are a goldmine for information and competitor research.

They enable you to collect, analyze and understand data about your competitive market, including competitors, products, technologies, customers and trends.

In our post "25 bestFree online tools for competitive analysis” you can find a wide variety of online tools that you are free to use to spy on your competitors, spot new market trends, and find out what works in your niche.

And if you need more competitive research techniques and tools, you can check out our posts:

  • How to do competitive market researchand analysis? Guide
  • first 50Web tools for competitive intelligenceand Techniques

3. Social media listening/monitoring tools

Social networks are one of the biggest sources of data today.

The key to maximizing the power of social media is gathering data about what your audience is saying about your brand, your competitors, and the market in general.

With over three billion people using social media, this can seem like a daunting task.

This is where social media listening/monitoring tools come into play. They show you what people are thinking about your business and help you manage online conversations that are relevant to your brand.

The business benefits of being able to track and listen to customer advice, opinions, complaints and recommendations are endless.

Some of the best and most popular free and paid social media monitoring tools areTweetDeck,follower,SumAll,Hootsuite,Falla,agorapuls,Brandwatch.

4. Analytics of your website data

There is a lot of valuable data that you can access through your website analytics platform.

If you're not using it, you're missing out on important information about your visitors and customers.

Examples of data you may collect from your website include: visitor location, visitor behavior patterns, keywords visitors use to find your website and business, visitor activity on the website, more popular content, etc.

The most popular platform to find out the statistics of your website isAnalytics Google. It's a free and quite powerful tool that provides a ton of data. Other good tools areClickable,feeder of lead,demand,KISSmetrics, albacore.

There is alsoweb browsers, which can help you extract data from any website, including your own.

5. Open data sources

When it comes to free online methods of collecting data for your business, open data is a great solution.

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What is open data?

Open data are large data sets that are free and available to anyone with an Internet connection.

Governments, independent organizations, some companies and agencies are the ones who build open data for easy and free access.

Open data can be of many types, from public data collected and provided by government agencies to summaries of economic trends by financial organizations and banks.

Open data can give your business a big boost. It makes you rethink the way you understand and relate to the world. It opens up great business opportunities, such as giving you ideas for new products and increasing the productivity of your business.

Open data also makes you aware of global issues and universal problems.

Some of the most popular sources of open data are:

  • datos.gov– you can find tons of databases here, including information related to consumers, education, manufacturing, public safety, and more. For example, one of the databases, the Consumer Complaint Database, shows the biggest complaints about a certain product or service.
  • Open World Bank dataoffer free and open access to data on global development. The datasets provide population demographics and a host of economic indicators from around the world.
  • google financeis a very easy way to collect financial data such as real-time stock quotes and charts, financial news, investments, currency conversions, etc.
  • Amazon Public Datasetsis a registry that aims to help people discover and share datasets made available through AWS resources. Here you can find large data sets related to biology, economics, chemistry and physiology etc.
  • huboffers a large and highly valuable free repository of marketing data.
  • Healthdata.govprovides high-value online health data accessible to entrepreneurs, researchers and policy makers.
  • International Monetary Fund(IMF) is an organization of 189 countries. It is an excellent source for collecting data on international financial statistics, regional economic reports, exchange rates, debt rates, commodity prices and investments.

6. Chatbot

Do you have a chatbot on your website? If you haven't, here are a few reasons to get one.

Today's people, especially millennials and the younger generation, find it easy to solve problems by communicating with a chatbot.

A chatbot is a software program that mimics a human conversation (or chat) with users via websites, mobile apps, phones, etc. It is a digital assistant that communicates with people.

It is a new marketing channel that offers a truly personal experience between brands and consumers.

Chatbots are changing the world of business and marketing. But they're not just great for talking to people.

They are also one of the most modern and revolutionary data collection methods and techniques that help you collect user data such as username, email, customer preferences, etc.

This data can be very useful for profiling your target audience, retargeting and even creatingbrand positioning strategies.

Also, by looking at the data collected by the chatbot, you can gain insight into which products customers don't understand. In addition, you can discover trends and personalize messages.

7. Tools for SEO analysis

Search engine optimization (SEO) tools are more important today than ever.

SEO tools can provide you with data about website keywords, rankings, backlink analysis, SEO audits, website visits, traffic sources, website location demographics, etc. visitors and much more.

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In practice, with SEO tools you can get such data for any website you want: a competitor's website, your website, a website you like, etc.

SEO tools can also show you data about specific keywords you want to rank for. The data includes metrics such as keyword difficulty, monthly search, cost per click, etc.

SEO tools offer a wealth of valuable data, and if used correctly, can produce outstanding results.

With them, you can improve your website's search engine rankings, drive more visitors to your website, get more customers, outperform your competition, and significantly improve the effectiveness of your overall digital marketing efforts.

Among the best free and paid SEO tools are:SEMrush,Ahrefs,Ubersuggest,Serpstat,Woorank.com,SEOlio,Google Search Console,Google Keyword Planner,MozBar.

8. Registration and subscription information

Getting people to subscribe to your blog or website is an essential marketing technique today.

Because? Because subscribers are more likely to become your paying customers.

Subscription means that users provide you with information about themselves (such as names, phone numbers, e-mails, etc.). In return, you offer them something of value, such as free ebooks, free white papers, coupons, promotions, etc.

You can also build an email list this way. This is a list of names and email addresses of people who have given you permission to send them regular information about your business, such as news, updates, blog posts and promotions.

You can compile your email and subscriber list within a dedicated marketing software and build a huge customer database.

A growing subscriber base is very important to the success of your business today.

Registration data can show you many insights, such as whether your promotions are working to get subscribers, the number of signups by date, whether a subscriber is buying from your store, which page users signed up to, and more.

This is one of the most powerful methods of collecting online business data today, although many marketers underestimate the value of the data collected in this way.

9. Cookies and other web tracking technologies

Cookies are now very popular and are one of the best commercial data collection methods and techniques.

A cookie is a mini file that collects some kind of user data when they access certain web pages.

It allows the website to be tracked in terms of the time users spend on the website, when they visit the website, which links are clicked and other types of information about user activities.

Through cookies, you can get valuable information about how consumers behave on the Internet, how the visitor found you, what products and services he researches and buys, etc.

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ovedata typeThey are an excellent resource for improving advertising, online user experience and digital marketing campaigns.

If you need more information, this is greatdigital marketing guide for web cookies.

10. Online focus groups

Thanks to recent advances in the digital world and technology, running online discussion groups is a growing trend in market and business research.

In an online focus group, a large group of pre-selected people log into a secure location or web conference where they are interviewed via a web camera. The discussion is led by a person called a moderator.

The goal is to obtain valuable information for the company through word-of-mouth and consumer feedback.

It is used to collect qualitative data (seequalitative vs quantitative data), online focus groups allow you to gather information about anything from products and services to customer beliefs, perceptions, and opinions.

One of the biggest advantages of online focus groups is that participants do not have to travel to a specific location to participate.

Another advantage is that online focus groups are often much cheaper than traditional focus groups.

Also, research is much faster to perform and allows you to get closer to tech-savvy people as well as reach a much larger audience. Customers from all over the world can participate in the same discussion.

Finally, respondents are more willing to express their views on the web than face-to-face or on the phone.

Popular software tools for online focus groups are:Hangouts Google,AdobeConnect,For the.

Download the following infographic in PDF for free

10 online methods of collecting business data - a list worth trying (1)


Successful companies have always relied on some type of data collection method to help them make decisions and grow.

Rapidly evolving Internet technology in the market research industry makes it easy for you to gather vast amounts and types of data to make the best informed decisions.

Almost all modern business software tools can collect and deliver a huge amount of data for your business.

All this data has great potential for your business if you learn to access it and use it to improve and develop your business.

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What are the most modern and powerful data collection methods and tools today? Share your ideas with us.


10 online methods of collecting business data - a list worth trying? ›

The online data collected through by sending emails, texts etc (usually interviews conducted online) is known as online data collection. The advantage of online data collection is that the survey respondents or panel members are given ample time to respond to the questionnaire or the survey.

What are 10 methods of data collection? ›

What Are The 10 Methods of Data Collection?
  • Surveys.
  • Observations.
  • Questionnaires.
  • Interviews.
  • Focus groups.
  • Online Tracking.
  • Transactional data tracking.
  • Online marketing analytics.
Feb 22, 2022

What is the online method of data collection? ›

The online data collected through by sending emails, texts etc (usually interviews conducted online) is known as online data collection. The advantage of online data collection is that the survey respondents or panel members are given ample time to respond to the questionnaire or the survey.

What is the top 7 data collection method? ›

Case Studies, Checklists, Interviews, Observation sometimes, and Surveys or Questionnaires are all tools used to collect data. It is important to decide the tools for data collection because research is carried out in different ways and for different purposes.

What are 5 methods of data collection? ›

The following are seven primary methods of collecting data in business analytics.
  • Surveys.
  • Transactional Tracking.
  • Interviews and Focus Groups.
  • Observation.
  • Online Tracking.
  • Forms.
  • Social Media Monitoring.
Apr 4, 2023

What are 10 types of data? ›

10 data types
  • Integer. Integer data types often represent whole numbers in programming. ...
  • Character. In coding, alphabet letters denote characters. ...
  • Date. This data type stores a calendar date with other programming information. ...
  • Floating point (real) ...
  • Long. ...
  • Short. ...
  • String. ...
  • Boolean.
Jun 24, 2022

What are the top 6 data collection methods *? ›

6 methods of data collection
  • Observation. Observational methods focus on examining things and collecting data about them. ...
  • Survey. Survey methods focus on gathering written or multiple choice answers about various subjects from individuals. ...
  • Focus group. ...
  • Interview. ...
  • Design thinking. ...
  • User testing.
Jun 24, 2022

Why is online data collection better? ›

Faster. The time span needed to complete surveys online is on average two-thirds shorter than that of traditional research methods. Because information is being gathered automatically, you don't have to wait for paper questionnaires to come back to you – response time is almost instant.

What type of data collection is an online survey? ›

What is an Online Survey? Online survey or internet survey, is one of the most popular data-collection sources, where a set of survey questions is sent out to a target sample and the members of this sample can respond to the questions over the world wide web.

What are the 4 types of data collection? ›

Data may be grouped into four main types based on methods for collection: observational, experimental, simulation, and derived. The type of research data you collect may affect the way you manage that data.

What is the most popular form of data collection? ›

The most common way to collect primary data is through surveys and interviews. Surveying is the process of collecting data through a questionnaire that asks a range of individuals the same questions related to their characteristics, attributes, how they live or their opinions.

What are the different types of data to collect? ›

There are two primary types of data that can be collected: quantitative data and qualitative data. The former is numerical -- for example, prices, amounts, statistics and percentages. Qualitative data is descriptive in nature -- e.g., color, smell, appearance and opinion.

What are the 6 steps of data collection? ›

6. What is involved in collecting data – six steps to success
  • Step 1: Identify issues and/or opportunities for collecting data. ...
  • Step 2: Select issue(s) and/or opportunity(ies) and set goals. ...
  • Step 3: Plan an approach and methods. ...
  • Step 4: Collect data. ...
  • Step 5: Analyze and interpret data. ...
  • Step 6: Act on results.

What are the three main types of data collection? ›

Under the main three basic groups of research methods (quantitative, qualitative and mixed), there are different tools that can be used to collect data.

How many are the main types of data collection? ›

Depending on the type of data, the data collection method is divided into two categories namely, Primary Data Collection methods. Secondary Data Collection methods.

What are the 8 types of data? ›

The 8 Primitive Variable Types

byte , short , int , long , float , double , char , boolean .

What are the 7 types of data? ›

And there you have the 7 Data Types.
  • Useless.
  • Nominal.
  • Binary.
  • Ordinal.
  • Count.
  • Time.
  • Interval.
Aug 29, 2018

What are the 32 data types? ›

D provides fundamental data types for integers and floating-point constants. Arithmetic may only be performed on integers in D programs.
Data Types and Sizes.
Type Name32–bit Size64–bit Size
char1 byte1 byte
short2 bytes2 bytes
int4 bytes4 bytes
long4 bytes8 bytes
1 more row

What is an example of data collection? ›

Some data collection methods include surveys, interviews, tests, physiological evaluations, observations, reviews of existing records, and biological samples.

What are the five importance of data collection? ›

Those five areas are (in no particular order of importance); 1) decision-making, 2) problem solving, 3) understanding, 4) improving processes, and 5) understanding customers.

What is the most effective method of data collection Why? ›

Of all the quantitative data collection methods, surveys and questionnaires are among the easiest and most effective. Many graduate students conducting doctoral research use this method because surveys and questionnaires are applicable to both quantitative and qualitative research.

What is data collection process? ›

Data collection is the process of gathering and measuring information on variables of interest, in an established systematic fashion that enables one to answer stated research questions, test hypotheses, and evaluate outcomes.

What are the examples of online research? ›

Online surveys, polls, questionnaires, forms, and focus groups are various tools of online research that are vital in gathering essential information for market research.

Is the choice between administration mode influenced by several factors? ›

The choice between administration modes is influenced by several factors, including 1) costs, 2) coverage of the target population (including group-specific preferences for certain modes), 3) flexibility of asking questions, 4) respondents' willingness to participate and 5) response accuracy.

How do I collect my own data? ›

How to Collect Data in 5 Steps
  1. Determine What Information You Want to Collect. The first thing you need to do is choose what details you want to collect. ...
  2. Set a Timeframe for Data Collection. ...
  3. Determine Your Data Collection Method. ...
  4. Collect the Data. ...
  5. Analyze the Data and Implement Your Findings.
May 13, 2019

What is the fastest way to collect data? ›

The quickest method to collect primary data is telephonic survey. A wide range of people can be connected through this method.

What are the five sources of data? ›

Methods of Collecting Primary Data
  • Direct personal investigation.
  • Indirect oral investigation.
  • Information through correspondents.
  • Telephonic interview.
  • Mailed questionnaire.
  • The questionnaire filled by enumerators.
Jan 23, 2021

What is the easiest data collection method? ›

The easiest and most direct data collection technique is observation. The most common form of observation in the context of data collection involves simply watching the behaviors or actions of a subject in a specific setting to understand them and record what was observed.

What are the five most common data collection instruments? ›

What Are Data Collection Tools?
  • Interviews.
  • Questionnaires.
  • Case Studies.
  • Usage Data.
  • Checklists.
  • Surveys.
  • Observations.
  • Documents and records.
Oct 31, 2022

What is data collection for business? ›

Data collection is critical for businesses of any size. Data collection is the “process of gathering and measuring information on variables of interest that enables one to answer questions, test hypotheses, and evaluate outcomes,” according to the Office of Research Integrity.

What is the most common type of data? ›

Integer (int)

It is the most common numeric data type used to store numbers without a fractional component (-707, 0, 707).

What collects the most data? ›

Social media collects more data than anybody else

Ads are how Meta makes the most of its money — around 114.93 billion U.S. dollars, to be precise, based on 2021 reports — so the more it knows about you, the more it can sell you.

What are the 6 tools of research? ›

Research tools are specific mechanisms or strategies that the researcher uses to collect, manipulate, or interpret data. Six general tools of research: 1) the library and its resources, 2) the computer and its software, 3) techniques of measurement, 4) statistics, 5) the human mind, and 6) language.

What are the 8 tips in planning your data collection procedure? ›

Data Collection Plan: Learn to Create It In 8 Steps
  1. 1) Identify the questions that you want to answer. ...
  2. 2) Determine the kind of data that is available. ...
  3. 3) Determine how much data is needed. ...
  4. 4) Determine how to measure the data. ...
  5. 5) Decide who is going to gather data. ...
  6. 6) Determine where the data will be collected from.
Dec 25, 2022

Is a good example of data collection? ›


An interview not only collects personal information from the interviewees, but it is also a way to acquire insights into people's other skills. Here is the summary of advantages you can gain from this data collection method: Conducting interviews can help reveal more data about the subject.

What are two types of data you collect? ›

There are two general types of data – quantitative and qualitative and both are equally important.

What are the primary sources of data collection? ›

Examples of primary sources: Autobiographies and memoirs. Diaries, personal letters, and correspondence. Interviews, surveys, and fieldwork.

What is primary source of data? ›

A primary data source is an original data source, that is, one in which the data are collected firsthand by the researcher for a specific research purpose or project. Primary data can be collected in a number of ways.

What are 5 common data collection instruments? ›

Methods used for quantitative data collection
  • Online Surveys. Surveys are a common and effective way of collecting data from a large number of people. ...
  • Offline Surveys. ...
  • Interviews. ...
  • Observation. ...
  • Review existing documents.

What are the 6 methods of data collection and analysis? ›

The most commonly used methods are: published literature sources, surveys (email and mail), interviews (telephone, face-to-face or focus group), observations, documents and records, and experiments.

What are the most common data collection methods? ›

Some common data collection methods include surveys, interviews, observations, focus groups, experiments, and secondary data analysis. The data collected through these methods can then be analyzed and used to support or refute research hypotheses and draw conclusions about the study's subject matter.

What are the 4 basic types of data collection procedures? ›

Data may be grouped into four main types based on methods for collection: observational, experimental, simulation, and derived. The type of research data you collect may affect the way you manage that data.

What are the 5 most common data types? ›

Most modern computer languages recognize five basic categories of data types: Integral, Floating Point, Character, Character String, and composite types, with various specific subtypes defined within each broad category.

What are 5 most common data types and explain each of them with example? ›

data type
Data TypeUsed forExample
StringAlphanumeric charactershello world, Alice, Bob123
IntegerWhole numbers7, 12, 999
Float (floating point)Number with a decimal point3.15, 9.06, 00.13
CharacterEncoding text numerically97 (in ASCII, 97 is a lower case 'a')
1 more row

What are the 6 general tools of research? ›

Research tools are specific mechanisms or strategies that the researcher uses to collect, manipulate, or interpret data. Six general tools of research: 1) the library and its resources, 2) the computer and its software, 3) techniques of measurement, 4) statistics, 5) the human mind, and 6) language.

What is a good data collection method? ›

Questionnaire or survey method

A survey is commonly used to gather information from a large group of people. This is an effective way to collect consistent data. Surveys include a set of questions with closed-ended or open-ended questions. Participants are asked to respond based on their knowledge or experience.

Is there a best method of data collection? ›

Quantitative research produces the most accurate and meaningful insights for analysis. Surveys are a common form of quantitative data collection and can be created and completed online, making them a convenient and accessible choice. However, they must be well-designed and executed to ensure accurate results.

How do companies collect data? ›

Common Collection Methodologies

Most companies ask customers directly for data. When someone registers with a website a form is commonly required to be filled out. The company asks for an email address, name, and other demographics like age, gender, and potentially more.


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