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by Mike Vestil 

Data Collection Tools: Conducting Research Effectively In 2022

There's no lack of tools and services to get the job done when collecting data on the internet. While not all of these tools are necessarily appropriate for every situation, it makes sense to understand what's available based on your specific needs.

Technology can help you collect valuable information about your customers, relationships, competitors, website visitors, and beyond. The majority of data is now created, distributed, and shared online. Without the proper tools to monitor the internet, people are essentially blind to what's happening around them.

In this post, I'll walk through some of the most popular tools for collecting data and conducting research. Many of these can be used for multiple purposes, so I highlighted the top features of these tools in each instance.

Let's get right into it.

What Are The Top Data Collection Tools Right Now?

The following are some of the most popular data collection tools available on the market today.

Forms on Fire

Best For Filling In Forms On A Mobile Device


Forms on Fire is one of the most popular platforms for mobile applications. Empower everyone who has access to make the most out of the way the forms are filled out. Add a layer of intelligence to your forms, and make them even more potent by adding a complete set of automated triggers.

Give your designers a simple-to-use tool to create mobile forms that look as beautiful as they work without having to compromise on power, integration, or ease of use.

Touch-driven mobile apps empower workers to take notes and execute tasks more quickly by using familiar actions like swiping, scrolling, and tapping.

In addition, you can keep your hands on the wheel at all times by keeping data collection logic entirely under your control.

Tools that are easy to use produce quick results, and that is precisely what Forms on Fire will do for your business.

In essence, employees won’t need as much IT assistance to get up to because of expert services, support, and shared-project initiatives, which all lowers the overall cost of data collection.

Key Features

  • A complete mobile solution to collect any data from your customers.
  • Build powerful real-time dashboards that display key business metrics at a glance.
  • No coding is required to build responsive mobile forms.
  • Dragging and dropping allow you to create custom workflows that mimic Excel-style formulas as well as powerful conditional logic.
  • Integrate with your existing systems and data.
  • You can use your mobile device to access maps, data lists, and details right away.



When it comes to annual plans, these are the ones on offer:

These annual prices save you 20% when compared to paying monthly.

Zoho Survey

Best For Using Logic In Your Data Collection


Zoho Survey allows you to build your own mobile-friendly surveys, customizable and easy to share.

Create your poll in a few minutes, and then, on any device, you may contact your target audience to get instant feedback.

You can build your ideal survey with over 25 questions and features, including skip logic and piping.

This means that you can get the data you need to make informed decisions faster and easier than ever before.

You may personalize your surveys to fit your brand or even spruce them up with themes that your company can identify with.

Customizable reports let you see response trends and make informed decisions based on various pre-set parameters.

Key Features

  • An intuitive user interface to create stunning surveys within minutes.
  • Publish your survey quickly for fast feedback from your target audience.
  • Personalization to fit your brand or use various themes that suit your needs.
  • Responsive in design and mobile use, ensuring that your surveys are accessible to all of your target audience.
  • Customizable reports allow you to see response trends and make informed decisions based on various parameters.



With a free plan, you can test out this platform to see if it's the right fit for you. After that, these are the pricing plans:

All of these are billed annually.


Best For Collecting Information At Various Points Of The Customer Lifecycle


Zonka helps with CSAT, CES, and NPS Surveys, providing actionable insights from what your audience says about your business.

This makes this platform one of the quickest routes to get feedback from consumers and workers.

Businesses rely on Zonkato to quantify and improve customer feedback as this software & survey maker provides one of the easiest ways to get perspective from your customers.

Zonka allows you to quickly adapt your surveys so that they are suitable for various applications and contexts.

Use a Multi-Channel Survey App to collect feedback at all touchpoints and from all devices.

These include web, mobile, chatbots, social media posts, and more – no matter what your customers are facing or where they may be in the world, you have a way to get in touch with them.

Use Zonka’s offline survey app to take surveys and provide feedback on iPads, Android tablets, and kiosks.

This will allow you to collect all customer feedback data points crucial to your business operations.

Key Features

  • Collect feedback from your customers and employees across any channel or device.
  • Create beautiful surveys that are designed for a variety of contexts.
  • Launch the Offline Kiosk survey app as an unattended kiosk and collect valuable insights without being connected to the internet.
  • Take feedback from your customers and create unlimited surveys.
  • Close the feedback loop by responding in real-time when surveys come in.



All of these pricing plans are billed yearly.

In addition, they also offer a custom plan for businesses that requires a specific set of tools tailored for their operations.

Google Forms

Best For Using A Proven Solution That Many Are Familiar With


With Google Forms, you can get quick insights into the problems your business is facing.

You can use Google Forms to create surveys for collecting feedback from consumers and workers.

Google Forms makes it simple to collect data in various forms. You can also embed videos and images as part of the questions you ask, which might be perfect if you are running a customer-facing business (such as using a dropshipping model) and want to ensure that you are providing the right service.

This helps you get rich, accurate insights that you can act on to make things right in business - or simply to improve what’s already working.

With the process of creating a form as simple as creating any other document, this is one of the easiest ways to get going. You can quickly generate targeted surveys for your research with multiple question types based on your target audience.

Key Features

  • Quickly build up your surveys and send them out to your audience without wasting time.
  • Encryption is available to ensure your information is safe and secured.
  • Advanced compliance controls help you simplify regulatory processes that may be in place in your organization.
  • With tons of options for your questions, you can dig deep and get the correct answers from your audience.


Google Forms is free to use.


Best For Collecting Data In Offline Mode


QuickTapSurvey allows you to conduct easy-to-use surveys and produce mobile forms that you can send out in minutes.

You may also collect data from anywhere (even when you are offline).

With QuickTapSurvey being one of the highest-rated offline survey software, you may drive leads at trade shows, events, conferences, or anywhere you go.

You may also collect data from online forms or your website with integration to third-party websites.

Key Features

  • With more than 35 types of questions that you can ask, you can design the ideal form for your business.
  • Quickly find insights to take action on with their intuitive reporting engine.
  • Run unlimited surveys and questionnaires to get the feedback you need fast and without having to worry about form response limits again - whether you’re sending out a simple poll or comprehensive market research.
  • Get notifications when someone has completed a survey.



They offer a free 14 day trial to all of their software products. No further information is provided on their website.

Repsly Mobile CRM

Best For Conducting Surveys In The Retail Business


Intelligent field teams use Repsly Mobile CRM to connect, engage and convert their target audience in retail-specific situations.

Organize your field team into a fully connected marketing machine with an app that includes all the features you need to succeed.

With Repsly Mobile CRM, you can create surveys for collecting critical data from consumers and workers.

Get real-time information on store performance and sales success to ensure that your business never misses a beat in its operations.

When building business-specific surveys, you can quiz your audience to see whether your brand is easy to find in the major retail areas.

These include organized workflows for various types of compliance, competitor tracking, on-shelf availability, and more.

Being the leading retail execution platform for data-driven field teams, Repsly Mobile CRM is one tool to consider when it comes to improving how your retail store operates.

In addition, Repsly Mobile CRM is much more than just a data collection tool - it's a full-fledged retail execution platform.

Key Features

  • With Team Scheduling, reps can see who's working which locations, set up tour schedules, and more.
  • With sophisticated analytics on team effectiveness and store-level execution tailored to your team's unique business requirements, you'll get the insights you need to make better decisions in the field.
  • Targeted task assignments and recurring schedule management can enhance coverage and program execution to perfection.
  • No matter how complex your product catalog is, equip your staff to get the insights needed while they are out in the field.



You'll have to first fill in some questions about your company and schedule a demo to get to the costs involved for Repsly Mobile CRM.

What Are Data Collection Tools?

Data collection tools allow organizations to analyze and better understand their audiences.

With so many data collection methods at our disposal, it's essential to understand the best practices for collecting this information.

The correct data collection tool can turn survey results into valuable product insights faster than ever before.

When you need to make better decisions for your business (or sometimes even your personal life), looking at real-time research is the way to go.

In addition, the proper data collection method for your business or organization will be the one that encourages your desired audience to take the action you want.

The correct data collection tools can provide you with all of this information and more by analyzing consumer behavior and market trends.

As a result, they should be able to use sophisticated algorithms to analyze large amounts of data.

What Are Qualitative And Quantitative Data?

Qualitative analysis focuses on subjective feedback from a smaller number of users.

Quantitative data, on the other hand, is more objective and makes it easier to report on more significant numbers of people.

While there are various methods for collecting both types of data, one can only answer some questions with one kind of data.

For example, if your main question is "What do our customers think about our product?" then you'll need to collect qualitative feedback from a smaller group of users.

This may come in the form of customer interviews or focus groups and any additional research you want to include as part of your study.

However, if your primary question concerns how customers will use a new product based on an improvement you've made, then it's essential to collect quantitative data.

This type of feedback is more objective since it usually comes in metrics or numerical ratings.

While both types of feedback benefit both types, understanding when each method is necessary will help you get better results from your data collection efforts.

Once you have a clear idea of what questions you're trying to answer with your research, then you can decide which data collection method is best for that situation.

Features To Look For When Choosing The Right Data Collection Tool

The correct data collection tool is the one that provides you with the ability to ask for information that your business needs to move forward.

Before choosing a data collection tool, ensure that it has key features to ensure you'll get the results your business needs.

Let’s look at some of these features that you might want your tool to have.

Primary And Secondary Data Analysis Is Simple

Not all data collection tools can adequately help businesses make sense of consumer research.

A good survey platform should allow you to compare primary and secondary data analysis side by side so you can get a clearer picture of where your business stands in relation to the market as a whole.

Primary data refers to the data your company collects directly from the source - those you wish to target as potential customers. 

Secondary data is already available and can be collected through various resources such as blogs, reports, and marketing materials.

Without a platform for comparing both types of information, it's possible to draw incorrect conclusions about consumer behavior and needs.

Making sense of collected research data can be time-consuming and labor-intensive. By using a tool that provides accurate results quickly, you'll save your company revenue and resources by allowing more informed decision-making during the planning stages of new products or services.

Mobile Integration

With primary data collection being done via mobile devices, the right data collection tools should provide you with a way to create and collect information from such devices.

If you have a field workforce, collecting real-time data from them can provide your business with even more valuable insights about your customers and their habits.

In addition, if you're looking at using your smartphone or tablet as part of your primary method for collecting this information, ensure that it has an easy-to-use interface.

By quickly navigating through questions on a mobile device, consumers will be more likely to complete the survey. This is especially important when asking personal questions regarding income and behavior.

Targeting Methods

Remember that not all targeting approaches are the same and that each system can yield different results.

If your primary goal is to find out more about the behavior of a specific consumer, then it's best to use a targeted survey or questionnaire.

On the other hand, if you're looking for more broad-based information on an audience as a whole, such as their age range and gender, using non-targeted research methods might be better.

Qualitative data collection methods such as in-depth focus groups can provide insight into how a consumer feels toward a product or brand while also providing an opportunity to ask follow-up questions.

However, if you're looking for information about specific consumers and their behavior, targeted methods such as surveys and questionnaires will be your best choice.

Cost Of Using The Platform

With so many options available, it's essential to stay within budget when choosing a data collection tool.

The data collection process for quantitative data is generally more expensive than a qualitative data collection process.

Focusing on the types of information you want from your data collection can help you find the proper price range for your business or organization.

In addition, understanding what sources will be providing this specific data will allow you to calculate an average cost per respondent, which is especially important when evaluating targeted research methods such as surveys and questionnaires.

Security And Privacy Concerns

Any organization that handles sensitive personal information should always consider security and privacy concerns first and foremost.

When choosing between different platforms, ensure that they keep all consumer information secure and private by using reputable security standards like SSL encryption.

This way, if consumers decide to provide their contact information during the survey process, they can rest assured that their data will remain secure and private.

Having a variety of data collection techniques is good but ensuring that such data is always secure is even more critical.

The Ability To Easily Create Surveys

The number one reason consumers choose not to complete a survey is that it takes too long. If you're looking at incorporating primary data collection methods, it's essential to make sure your surveys are easily accessible and completed quickly.

The goal is for consumers to spend no more than 15-20 minutes on a survey - if their time exceeds this projected average, you'll see your participation rate decrease exponentially.

The best data collection tools available today include various survey formats that you can easily customize for your specific needs and fit in with the allocated time.

In addition, tools that allow respondents to skip sections and return to previous pages will increase data accuracy if specific questions might not apply to a particular sector of your audience.

Real-Time Data Insights

Making sense of collected research data can be time-consuming and labor-intensive for any business. By using a tool that provides accurate results quickly, you'll save your company revenue and resources by allowing more informed decision-making during the planning stages of new products or services.

Real-time data insights make the data gathering process much more efficient for those collecting consumer information and those who will be making informed business decisions based on that data.

Validation Of Data

Having accurate data is one of the biggest keys to success for businesses and organizations.

Consumer data that's not validated is often useless, as it does not accurately portray consumer behavior.

Validating your data collection efforts will help you see any significant gaps in information so you can more easily make decisions moving forward.

It's easy for marketers and researchers alike to become caught up in the excitement of primary research and forget to validate their findings before using them as a basis for critical business decisions.

A thorough validation process helps ensure that all results are accurate, relevant, and valuable. This means taking time to determine if consumer responses match what has been observed elsewhere, such as through secondary resources.

This might include reports by market research firms or industry experts.

Automation Is Possible When It Comes To Collected Data

Both qualitative and quantitative data collection methods can be improved by automation.

Recent generations of data collection tools have introduced the ability to harness emerging technologies such as connected devices and artificial intelligence.

In addition, automating parts of your survey process can help speed up data gathering, analysis, and reporting, so you spend less time on tiring research tasks. This means more time allocating resources, as needed, to other areas throughout your business cycle.


To get a deep understanding of your consumers' behaviors and preferences, using the right data collection tool is one of the best ways to get this done.

These tools allow you to create surveys that can easily target different age groups or demographics based on how you distribute them. 

The correct data collection tool should make conducting research quick and straightforward for both the surveyor and the respondent. Then, such a tool will provide you with the right insights that you can act on in your business.

Keep reading on MikeVestil.com: Want to learn more about doing research for business? Check out my article on doing Amazon product research if you’re thinking about getting into eCommerce.

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About the author 

Mike Vestil

Mike Vestil is an author, investor, and speaker known for building a business from zero to $1.5 million in 12 months while traveling the world.

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