Market research is a constantly evolving discipline. Each innovation that can be applied in the methodologies and techniques of consumer knowledge helps to make better-founded decisions in the least possible time and cost. In an increasingly technical and connected world, it is essential to master the concepts that support our specialty; even if they seem somewhat obvious at first.
Whether through a qualitative or quantitative analysis, it is essential to have access to data and information. Although in some scenarios they are used as synonyms, they are not really. The data are all those objective attributes of an entity or subject. The information is subjective statements derived from the interpretation of the data. One of the tasks of the market analyst is to generate or collect these first to answer the questions of decision makers.
Today we list the six basic types of data with which we can work in market research.
- Sociodemographics. Perhaps they are the data most recognized by most inside and outside market research. They are very easy to register and validate. Some examples of sociodemographic data are gender, age, income level, academic degree, marital status, occupation, among others. These data are usually collected by the States through their Geography and Statistics Organizations, so they are usually easy and quick to access.
- Attitudes and opinions. These data are subjective and their registration depends a lot on the capacity of the designers and collectors. Collecting this type of data is very difficult given the complexity of ensuring the least interference between the respondent and the interviewer. Attitudes are personal positions towards an object or subject. Opinions are the express and verbal manifestations of attitudes.
- Awareness and knowledge. Throughout life, people accumulate a series of knowledge; either formal or empirical. We are all experts in some area. Gathering this type of data necessarily implies an immersion in the field of knowledge that we are going to investigate in order to have sufficient criteria to discern between genuine connoisseurs of something that they talk about just for the sake of talking.
- Intentions. The plans to be carried out tomorrow are another type of data that is compiled. They are perhaps the second most common type of data in the work of marketers. Public opinion agencies dominate the collection and analysis of planned behavior. One area of opportunity for this type of data is the lack of objective certainty that what a person says will turn out to be true at the time.
- Motivations. Although less mentioned, the impulses that drive consumer decisions are one of the greatest needs for brands and companies. Many things depend on the depth and accuracy of these data. In general, these data are not usually verbalized spontaneously by people, which is why more complex techniques are used and require more resources to obtain them.
- Behaviors. People’s lives are circumscribed to making and abandoning options. If one decides to go to the left, he gives up going to the right. If a consumer purchases brand A, she chooses not to try brand B. If one is an extrovert, he will not be an introvert. Generally, this type of data can be expressed using binary logic: true or false.
Mastering the differences between each type of data allows the analyst to design better research projects. A confusion or lack of expertise in the treatment and study of the data can result in repetitive and time-consuming processes. Although there are no strict rules that force us to choose between working with one or another type of data, it is a good practice to identify what has already been studied before in order to have comparison parameters and avoid repeating research that resolves our questions. At Acertiva we have experts in data processing and analysis. Write us today to add our experience to your work team in LATAM.