When a startup business is in the process of developing the best quality product possible, gathering data plays a significant role in the production and should be collected all of the time. Data helps entrepreneurs gain insight on who their target audience should be and who as well as what they are up against in competition. To find out this information, companies extract data from both competitors and customers through data collecting techniques such as observation, surveys and questionnaires, focus group sessions, interviews, and more.
Ferrari Energy, an oil and gas company founded by Adam Ferrari specializing in mineral and leasehold acquisitions, agrees that keeping up with consumer needs and competing companies goes a long way with company growth. Below, Ferrari Energy reveals four tips for data gathering to help prepare any startup for the next step.
Tip #1: Always consider the user’s perspective
Whichever way a startup chooses to gather data, it should always consider the user’s point of view. For example, emailing a long, time-consuming survey about a service or a product that a consumer purchased will most likely turn that person away from participating compared to a short, quick, easy, and intuitive survey that is simple for users to complete. This data gathering approach through surveys elevates the quantity and quality of feedback returned, meaning better responses and overall collected data. A highly recommended and proven successful survey structure would include and blend of step-by-step, guided flow that only displays one to three questions at once.
Tip #2: Make sure to establish a clear research goal
A clear research goal ensures that the correct data is being collected and effectively analyzed. This goal defines the “why” and “what” behind data gathering, answering why data is collected and analyzed and purpose or end goal. Avoiding making a clear research goal before starting data collection can lead to wasted time and resources. Blindly collecting data comes with a high risk of erroneous data collected, which leads to false conclusions and backstepping during product development.
Tip #3: Consider competition
For products that need to be tested by consumers before hitting the market, consider competition. A great example can be taken from the television series The Office, where Dunder Mifflin Paper Company tests a new paper product in-house with employees through a friendly paper airplane competition to exhibit the quality of the new paper. When choosing to test a product with consumers through competition, it is helpful to have a prize incentive to help increase chances for more participants and feedback.
Tip #4: Think Innovation
For startups looking to gain further insight on a product and its functions, consider taking a prototype to a nearby college or university with a business school. In many cases, business schools at higher education institutes are looking to startup businesses or local companies to connect students to project building and experience. It is also good to collect data groups outside of a target audience to get additional feedback and even a different perspective that could offer constructive criticism.