17 Feb, 2022

Collecting data is great - but what should you do next?

Despite what many people think, the data collection process is not an end in itself. This is a very common misconception.

Data collection is, on the contrary, the first of a thorough set of steps that involves the analysis, interpretation, and comparison of all of the collected information.

In this blog, we will guide you through every one of these steps. By the time you finish reading, you will be a professional data analyst.

1. Sort, clean, and organise

The first, and very important, step is to sort out and organise all of the information you have collected. This stage might include listening to recordings, transcribing notes, and labelling data.

Knowing where each piece of information is, and what exact data you count on is crucial before moving forward. If you carried out the data collection process digitally, a good way of organising it is by creating different folders and sorting them by category.

Team members organising documents after collecting data

In this stage, you will also check for errors, incompleteness, or inconsistencies in the information you collected.

Choosing the right format for each piece of information is also important in this phase. Some documents will be better represented in a PDF, others might need to be exported to an Excel or sheet. At this point, having collected information with the right app will be crucial. Some mobile form apps allow you to automatically export your forms and data into Word, PDF, and Excel formats. Kizeo Forms is one of them. Having this possibility is essential, as it will save you and your team significant time.

2. Analyse the data

Once you have your information as organised as possible, it’s time to roll up your sleeves and start digging into it.

During this phase, you’ll start looking for patterns, relationships, and meaningful insights.

Young blond woman analysing information after collecting data

There are several types of data analysis, and you should consider using only those that will be relevant to what you are intending to study. Some of these methods are:

  • Text Analysis: offers a way to extract and examine data and derive patterns.

  • Statistical Analysis: consists of exploring and presenting large amounts of data to discover underlying patterns and trends.

  • Diagnostic Analysis: seeks to answer the question “why did X happen?”

  • Predictive Analysis: shows “what is likely to happen” by using previous data.

  • Prescriptive Analysis: combines the insight from all previous analyses to determine which action to take in a current problem or decision.

3. Time to present

Having analysed the collected data, you will want to share this valuable information with others, especially decision-makers. You need to make your presentation compelling and easy to understand.

One of the best ways to do this is through storytelling. For those of you who are not familiar with this term, storytelling is, in simple words, turning your data into a captivating narrative. These are some common storytelling tips that might help you:

  • Choose a key message
  • Have a clear structure
  • Always keep in mind who you are speaking to
  • Engage your audience: you can do this by sharing a personal experience or using an example your audience can relate to

Businessman presenting his conclusions at the end of the data collection process

Another resourceful thing to do is support your storytelling with graphs, or images. As you know, more often than not, images speak better than words do. Also, many people have visual intelligence. Consequently, supporting your speech with visuals will help them understand and remember your key message better. Some data collection apps allow you to automatically create graphs based on the information you gathered. Kizeo Forms is one of them. Through its forms app, you can create:

  • Pie charts
  • Bar charts
  • Line charts
  • Curved charts

Once you have decided how to present your work, there is one last thing to bear in mind: the ending. Knowing when and how to finish a story is crucial. You want to be sure your audience has grasped your message, but also give them something to continue thinking about once you’re gone. Some interesting ways of wrapping a presentation are:

  1. Ending with an open question
  2. Challenging your audience
  3. Finishing with a “surprise element”
  4. Circling back to the way you began your presentation

Female team leader sharing her results and conclusiond after collecting data

As it has been shown, our job doesn’t finish once we’ve finished collecting data. It’s only just begun.
If you’d like to count on a partner to make all of these steps way easier and precise, don’t forget to visit the Kizeo Forms website. Through our mobile forms app, you’ll be sure not to miss out on any detail.

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