Posted at 14:37h
Who knew passive data collection could make research so convenient?
Passive data collection, sometimes called passive data metering, is a valuable addition to the research toolkit, especially in cases where your research requires segment-specific, timely and accurate data about your customers' online behaviours and habits.
Over the past half century or so, market research data collection has been done through traditional methods. Where once traditional data collection was accomplished mostly through face-to-face techniques like focus groups or in-depth interviewing, data collection soon leveraged technology, and by the 90s, data collection was being done remotely by telephone. Then, in the 2000s, market research began to move much of its data collection to the internet, using online panels to conduct surveys, hold discussions or perform interviews with participants.
This progression led to more an easier and more thorough collection process that led to greater amounts of better developed data for insights professionals to analyze – resulting in deeper and more actionable insights for their clients.
But these newer techniques that were facilitated by technology had one thing in common – they were still reliant on traditional, active market research methodologies to collect the necessary data – like focus groups, in-depth interviews, discussions, etc.
Now, over the past several years, a new data collection method has become available to insights professionals - passive data collection.
With that in mind, let's find out what passive data collection is all about and how it could benefit your next research project.
The Art of Passive Data
In a nutshell, passive data collection is a method by which data is collected without the active participation or direct involvement of the participants who are being studied – all with the full knowledge and consent of those who participate.
Passive Data metering can record the user’s activity, such as website search history, app usage, streaming media usage, social media activity and much more, all with the permission of the user. This activity is collected by the app and then analyzed by insights professionals.
It’s actually pretty simple, really – but the complexity and richness of data that results is anything but.
Skip the Surveys
What is important about passive data collection is that it is just that - passive. It does not ask for any active participation from research participants. All they have to do is what they would do normally, and the data flows in.
Compare this with active data collection methodologies like surveys or interviews where participants must consciously take part in every part of the data collection process.
Sometimes self-reported data isn’t as reliable – I mean, we are humans and human error is often an issue for studies that require things like recall.
For example, asking someone how many times they’ve seen an advertisement on YouTube may be hard to remember – but passive data eliminates that notion completely.
Whether they are self-reporting seeing an advertisement several times, the passive data approach will identify if they have seen the advertisement, when they saw it, and if they did anything to engage with it further – now that is real insight!
Passive data collection removes the burden of reporting from the participant and allows them to participate in the research process with little to no effort on their part.
Get an Authentic Picture of Your Actual Customers
Active data collection techniques definitely have their place and are still a valuable research tool, but they all have one thing in common: they rely on what a participant tells you rather than on their actual, real-life behaviours.
Using passive data metering, you get a front row seat to all your customers’ behaviours as they relate to your brand – and your competitors.
Achieve better representation - When you monitor users’ online behaviours, you can tell exactly who your customers and potential customers really are through observing their actions, not just what they say. Combine this with thoughtful and active targeted research recruiting, and you can learn even more about your target customer and their preferences.
Remove the guesswork - Knowing exactly where your target customer is going online and what they are doing saves brands time, energy and money. More than that, through metering participants’ online behaviour, companies can gain valuable insights relating to other areas of interest they may have that can be integrated into marketing initiatives, advertising campaigns or product offerings.
Complement traditional research - Earlier we mentioned that traditional research still very much has a place in market research and that could not be more true! When you engage with participants in active data collection, you are engaging them on a conscious level – getting their thought out and well-considered opinions. These opinions are incredibly valuable, as they represent what participants want you to know – you don’t have to be a genius to know how valuable that kind of information can be. When combined with passive metering, the increased depth and quality of the data collected is undeniable – and the recommendations based upon it are even more relevant and actionable.
Passive Data Collection at Insightrix
Insightrix Passive Data Metering is a valuable stand-alone research methodology, or it can act as a complement to more traditional, active data collection techniques. Data on the internet is not just widely available – it can provide companies with real, actionable results. Don’t miss out on the opportunity it presents.
If you would like to know more about Insightrix Passive Metering, please fill out the form below to download our brochure. And if you already know passive data collection is perfect for your next research project, contact us.