Here are some specific ways quantitative data can be collected. For the sake of this article, we’ll segment these methods based on whether they are primary (gathered first-hand by the business) or secondary (gathered by someone else and then repurposed).
Primary data collection methods
This method is one of the most common means of quantitative data collection for businesses.
Many use the approach to obtain a representative, unbiased sample from their target audience via email questionnaires or web surveys.
While interviews tend to be more associated with qualitative data collection, they can also be used for quantitative data.
This can be facilitated by closed-ended questions that are delivered in the same format and order to each participant.
When conducting the interview, it’s also important that the person asking the questions follows a strict interview schedule and reads out the questions exactly as they are worded.
The standardized and repetitive nature of the questions makes quantitative interviews a quick and reliable way to collect data.
There is now an abundance of online data available to modern businesses that enables them to draw quantitative conclusions.
If we take a more specific look at a platform such as Google Analytics, we see that metrics such as average session duration, ratio of new to returning visitors, bounce rate, and organic vs. paid sessions can all be tracked with ease.
For businesses that want to measure app performance, metrics such as app downloads, app store conversion rate, campaign performance, and pre-orders can all provide useful data.
Secondary data collection methods
Secondary data collection methods can be incorporated into a plan to collect primary data by identifying a key area of focus or specific challenges.
It can also clarify the relationship between two variables of correlated, primary data.
Academic research describes any study published in a peer-reviewed journal.
In truth, many of America’s most innovative businesses owe their success to the data published by academia.
Much of the technology in an average iPhone was developed by scientific research funded by the United States Government.
America’s technological leadership in computers, the internet, GPS, laser scanners, and some pharmaceutical drugs can also be explained by quantitative data featured in academic research.
Commercial information sources
The media is much maligned, but newspapers, magazines, radio, and television can nevertheless be a valuable source of quantitative data.
The institutions behind these sources often have detailed, first-hand information related to politics, market research, economic policy, and demographic segmentation.
Research performed by federal authorities can also provide clarity on customer pain points, market trends, future opportunities, and potential regulatory issues.
One of the more obvious sources is census data that governments collect on their citizens every few years or so.
This data, which is mostly demographic in nature, can be used by businesses to better understand whether consumers in a particular town, city, or state will buy its products or services.
Other marketers may use census data to shape or refine their marketing strategies.
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