You are on page 1of 7





Discuss the in depth the different types of sources used to
collect data in modern business environment.

To understand the question, one needs to ask themselves, what is data?
What makes up business environment? And how is data important to a
business environment.
Well data can be defined as a set of value of qualitative or quantitative
variables, an anthropologist work is an example of qualitative data the
handwritten notes, the interviews conducted.
So how do we get data? Data can be measures, collected, reported and
analyzed. It can be visualized using graphs, Images or other analytical tools.
In general concept, data is represented or coded in a suitable form for better
Data has been an important part of the business environment over the years,
in decision making the management needs the correct information to help
them in taking decisions that pertain to the business. This in turn helps them
to prosper as an organization.
Hence my next question is what a business environment is. We know that
business is the exchange of goods and services with cash in hopes to make
profit, but is it the same as a business environment.
A business environment is according to your dictionary is the internal and
external factors that affects how a company operates. This includes,
management, employees, customers, supply and demand, and the business
policies put in place.
All these factor put in place help the business to progress if they work
together well in a harmonized manner.
In this topic I am going to try and understand the how well can an
organization get the best correct data it needs to make the necessary
decisions and for that I need to understand the role of data to a business


Before we get to the sources of data collection we need to understand its
significance to us as an organization. Why is it important to collect to collect
data? Only after answering this question we will be able to understand the
method we need to use to collect data that best suits our organization that
will help in decision making for the organization.
In 2007 Cindy Howson in the book Business intelligence suggested that the
average manager spends at least 2 hours a day looking for information. She
says that half of the information gotten later turns out not to be of use to
them. She adds that organization needs to find a way that their data will be
usable information, this only happens when data has been processed and
added to context to relevance or purpose.
In retail environment for instance each sale will be recorded, however a
company will learn little by looking at each sale in isolation. Hence, data
becomes information after it has been processed to add context, relevance
and purpose.
The ability to analyze and act on data is increasingly becoming important to
businesses. The stride at which change happens requires a company to react
quickly to demands from clients and the environmental conditions. Although
the quick action may be needed in decisions making, it is becoming complex
as organization are competing at the global marketplace.
Business intelligence provides an organization with mechanism to decision-
makers with information to that is needed to make insightful decisions.
Business intelligence makes tools gather and process multiple sources. They
produce reports of the information to increase the knowledge of the decision-
makers, this helps in the company to identify company growth opportunities,
customer preference and increase competitiveness.
Data has an impact on business. A study by the University of Texas in 2010
found out that companies can generate big financial returns by .making
small improvements in their data quality, usability intelligence, remote
accessibility and sales mobility. The study found out that a company can
increase annual sales per employee by 14.4% if it increases the usability of
its data by 10%.
In 2014 a blogger James Cotton posted on his site the importance of data on
accuracy, integrity and real-time integration. He says, It is easy to see why
the usage of data has become important to modern businesses, but also be
accounted for the hazards it presents. With new risks and dangers coming
up daily and technology evolving its no surprise that security is at the top of
the list of priority.
Security is one part of the equation, for a company to fully harness the
power of data it must see the accuracy and integrity in the same level. The
moment you guarantee this, what is left is the way data has been applied to
produce results. This is where real time comes concept comes in, since
information has a shelf-life and its shortening rapidly.

Accuracy: He simply puts it that the when you have inaccurate data you will
get poor results from the decision you made as an organization. He states
that you as an organization needs better insight to make business decisions
that is what data provides insight to improve the operation of the
organization. Accuracy is not only needed by management but by the ground
up meaning everyone in the organization needs to provide accurate

Integrity: It no secret that information these days comes from all corners of
life and that the source pool is still growing. The ongoing development like
the internet of things mean machines are becoming an integral part to get
information. With all these in mind we need to prioritize data governance not
only will information come from different corners but it will be in different
formats. And not all employees will be singing from the same song with
different sources, information can be reliably determined. Hence. Decision-
makers need to know the heritage of the data and the lack of confidence the
can place on the information they have.

Real-time integration: Time taken by experts to generate insight from raw

data is has always been a problem, especially when the older business
intelligence model is adopted. Data is undoubtedly the single most important
asset of an organization, making it difficult to use it power as its power
decreases as time goes by. Time taken by organization to make decision is
shortening. Responsiveness of becoming an impo0rtsnt facto in business
organizations because of completion companies must be in position to
respond fast to what is happening around them. Whether this involves a
competitor, a behavior of a client or a worlds major event, it is this kind of
flexibility that separate a good business from an innovative one.

Another blogger AJ Agrawal posted on his blog in 2016 that data helps in
better targeting. Companies are determined to spend few advertising dollars
as possible for maximum effect. That is why they gather data on their
existing activities making changes and then looking at the data again to
discover what they have to do.


What is data collection? Data collection is the systematic approach ton
gathering and measuring information from variety of sources to get complete
and accurate picture of an area of interest. It enables a person to or an
organization to answer relevant question, evaluate an outcome and make
predications of future probabilities and trends.
Accurate data collection is essential to maintaining the integrity of research
making informed decisions and ensuring quality assurance.
Over the years the primary tools of collecting data has always been surveys,
interviews, focus groups and questionnaires, but over time there have been
different ways to collect data, with the help from web and analytical tools,
organizations are able to collect data from mobile devices, websites traffic,
server activity and other relevant sources. There are two ways to collect data
primary data and secondary data. Primary data is the raw data, these are the
first hand information collected and compiled and have not gone through any
sieving. While the secondary information are the secondhand information
which are collected by an organization and are available for the present
study. They are not pure in character and have been sieved at least once.
Once youve collected data the next step is to always to edit that data,
examine it to see the errors and mistakes made before presenting. As a
researcher you need to decide the degree of accuracy needed and the extent
of errors that can be tolerated.
Under primary data we can use this methods to find information:
1. Focus Group: One of the main ways to conduct primary data is
through focus groups. This involves getting a group of people into a
room and asking them insightful question about a product, its
development, their preferences and feedback. These types of focus
group can be run at any location feasible for company or business.
These days with technology advancement we can run them through
the internet with the use of video conferencing. The group of the
people brought together have something in common. The division of
the focus group or selection process must depend on the audience
targeted or the product of the service of the company. The Participants
are compensated by either coupons, vouchers, gifts or money. This
falls under qualitative analysis.
2. Surveys and questionnaires: This too is another way to get data.
The term survey is a broad term that coverers a lot of things such as
survey questionnaires, forms, interviews and customer satisfaction
cards etc. The most common example of this data method is the
feedback form given to customers. It is a straightforward method of
knowing if the client is satisfied with the service provided and products
or the kind of changes the clients would like to see. Surveys are
conducted through the web these days and that enables the business
to collect feedback analyze them for further administration.
3. Observations: There are two observation techniques used in the
primary data collection. They are observation with interaction and
communication with the subject and observation through no
interaction and no communication with the subject. This type of data
source falls under quantitative primary data since the researcher
evaluates or measures the behavior of the respondent or the user in
general. This is more personal approach in comparison to surveys and
4. In-depth interviews: This unlike focus groups involves interaction
between one moderate and one respondent and several types of
modes can be used to conduct it. It may not be restricted to a pattern
of asking question but can be a conversation with the target customer
base or audience. This data source helps to did further into what
customer wants.
Since secondary data is mainly based on the collecting of data from different
sources and making observation, they include;
1. Internal sources: These are kind of secondary market data source
that already exist and are collected in the business database. They
include information that are collected the company and proves to be
useful for future projects. For most companies internal sources may
prove to be enough that they do not look for outside to develop
their products and services. They include balance sheets. Profit and
loss statement. Inventory records. Sales figures.
2. External sources: incase the internal sources do not fetch enough
information the external sources may be used. These are data
collected outside your business environment, they include multiple
sources and must be approached in controlled way in order to asses
them. They include Government sources. Universities and colleges.
The internet. Competitor data.

The use of data in the business may be able to help and organization to tap
into the raising opportunities, it also encourages communication, helps in the
minimization of risks , establishes trend and market standing, and helps in
finding out possible problems. With all these the organization is able to make
better decisions that will improve customer satisfaction.
Data also enable an organization to be competitive and innovative this helps
them cement their standing in the society.