Primary Data Collection: How to Get Started!

In a world ruled by data, where every profitable decision is always backed by the right kind of data, where the use of wrong data can send even a nation crashing down, emphasis should be laid on the nitty-gritty of collecting clean and veritable data as required.

 

Data collection is simply the method of gathering quantitative and qualitative information to glean useful insights. It sounds simple when defined, but in theory, this process can be stressful and still be futile for informed decision-making process if done wrong. To begin, you would need to be certain of the category of data you need — that is primary data or secondary data. 

Primary data is data collected from first-hand sources by the person in need of the data and for the reason “it is needed”. This differs from Secondary data which is data collected by someone else for some other purpose and to be used by another person for yet another purpose. The major differences between these two are the various ways they are collected and the sources (who collects the data).

Methods of collecting primary data

 

As raw, untapped information from a direct source, primary data has a higher likelihood of being accurate, more secure and useful in its entirety. Also, primary data opens the investigator to the possibility of obtaining additional data when needed.

The methods often employed to collect these data are;

  • Surveys (Web survey, one-on-one survey, Mail survey, etc.)
  • Questionnaires
  • Field Observations (Passive or Active )
  • Interviews (Focus Group, personal interview, open interview, etc.)
  • Experiments
  • Case studies

As someone who has set out to collect primary data on any scale and for whatever reason, you should know some popular negative views on the primary data collection process. For one, it is largely seen as expensive as it involves a fresh start. Also, for that same reason, the process is considered time-consuming and even impossible on a nationwide scale. 

The advantages, however, outweigh the perceived disadvantages, especially the unique capability of primary data to solve specific problems, unlike secondary data. Hence, because of the many advantages, people are leaning solely towards primary data to make data-driven decisions, even on a national scale. 

A recent example would be the latest directive by the President of Nigeria to make use of primary data for economic planning. This is to empower the government to make better decisions backed by data and to keep them abreast with the progress or futility of economic initiatives applied. To this effect, the president has set up an Economic Advisory Council (EAC) to champion the collection of primary data useful to proffer solutions to move the country and economy forward. This has set in motion the need for the different stakeholders in Nigeria to begin gathering primary data within a given time frame.

How to get started

 

Here’s how to get started with primary data collection;

  • First, clearly define the objective of the data you need to capture. This will enable you to make the right choice on the tool that will ensure a successful data capture project.
  • Next, identify the exact type of data you need. This will further prepare you to filter through the noise and get only the necessary primary data. This will also guide you in sifting through numerous sources.
  • Next, determine the various data requirements. By doing this, you can know where you need to source for the data and deduce the limitations you might encounter. It also gives you clarity into planning for the data transport, security measures and storage. 

It should be noted that primary data collection when done digitally offers impressive speed, accuracy, good turnaround time and scalability.

 

How Seamfix can help

 

Globally recognized as a tech giant in the data collection and identity management space, Seamfix is dedicated to powering the process of primary data collection, by offering a robust mobile platform that guarantees seamless, end-to-end data capture with speed, either online and offline.

Seamfix has successfully powered primary data collection across the nation with our platform. Our track record ranges from telcos to government institutions to private organisations with over 20 successful nationwide primary data capture projects and over 110 million primary data captured nationwide. Primary data collected on our platform have been used for diverse purposes including; to successfully enumerate statewide civil servants and eliminate ghost workers, register mobile subscribers nationwide, carry out a nationwide retail census, and so much more.

The Seamfix platform offers the following enabling features;

1. Flexible Form builder

Easily build responsive forms to suit your chosen method of collection —  be it surveys, questionnaires, observations and so on — and collect any type of first-hand data needed to make decisions. The forms can be modified to collect notes from interviews, focus groups of field observation consecutively. 

 

2. Mobile capture

Make use of any mobile device (e.g. smartphones, tablets, etc.) to collect information needed from any location. This allows for flexibility as there will be no need to carry heavy devices or worse, tons of paper-based forms from location to location.

 

3. Offline Capture

Capture data in internet-dead zones enabled by the offline capabilities of our platforms. This will allow for maximum inclusion especially for nation-wide primary data collection projects where agents are deployed to remote areas, or in continents like Africa where internet connectivity is poor.

 

4. Access to capture agents

Successfully carry out nationwide capture with access to a pool of ready-to-use, trained agents. The platform also offers an agent management portal that will allow for real-time monitoring of deployed agents to ensure they are doing as told.

 

5. Pictures and location evidence

Get pictorial and geographical proof of the data collected. The location feature goes beyond to allow you fence your agents in a particular location so they are restricted to capture data only in the location assigned to them. This also allows for utmost compliance.

 

6. Real-time reporting

The platform offers an intuitive dashboard interface for advanced reporting and analytics in real-time. The captured data immediately syncs with the admin’s system so you can see everything as it is happening. With this, you can know where your data archive is lacking and make quick decisions to capture more data while the agents are still in the field.

 

7. Data compliance and security

We ensure that every data collected on our platform meets regulatory standards with compliant background checks during the process of data capture. Our platform also allows for connection to existing databases to verify biometric data when necessary. Our security measures transcend to the data in whatever state it is — at rest or in transit — upholding GDPR and NDPR regulations.

 

8. Easy integration

Do you already have a standard workflow process or a working application that doesn’t offer quite enough? Our platform allows for easy integration into third-party systems and processes, thereby maintaining your data repository and ensuring everything can be done in your environment. 

 

Now that’s primary data collection powered by one mobile solution. No more wild estimates, no more assumptions, start collecting clean and verified primary data with the Seamfix platform.

To request a demo call +234-1-342- 9192 or send us a mail at info@seamfix.com.

 

 

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