Data Collection

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We can collect survey data cheaper, more rapidly and more accurately using mobile phones. Find out more

At Life Consulting we offer a wide variety of data collection methods including:

  • Face-to-Face Interviewing
  • Computer Aided Telephone Interviewing
  • Email/Online Surveys
  • Mobile Phone Surveys
  • Self Completion Postal Surveys
  • Mixed Mode Surveys
  • Focus Groups
  • In-depth Interviews


Choosing what is the most appropriate data collecton method for your research depends on many factors including the population you are interested in, the nature of the questions to be asked and your budget.  Feel free to contact as for advice on this.

Below is more detail about the data collection methods we offer:

Face-to-Face Interviewing

We can carry out large scale nationally representative studies using a nationwide fieldforce.  Face-to-face interviews are the most costly to conduct but if your survey is long and complex it is the preferred method for obtaining quality results.

Computer Aided Telephone Interviewing

Again we can carry out nationally represenative  telephone interviewing studies.  Data is normally collected using random digit dialling and we can access both landline and mobile numbers.  This is important to ensure results are represenative of the population as a declining proportion of homes have landlines.  Telephone interviews are cheaper than face-toface interviews and are best where the survey is not too long or complex.

Email/Online Surveys

Life Consulting are experts in conducting Email/Online surveys.  Web surveys, or e-mail surveys as they are sometimes known take advantage of technological advancements where a growing proportion of the population have access to email and the internet.  They have become the preferred data collection method for many customer satisfaction and staff satisfaction surveys but can also be used for gathering information from the general public by using representative internet panels.

Email/Online Surveys are cheaper to conduct than Face-to-face or telephone surveys but it is important to consider the profile of your target population including the following: 

  • Does your target population have frequent access to email and the internet
  • Do you have an accurate list of email addresses to work from
  • Will the research questions you are asking work for this format

 Examples of the use of Email/Online Surveys include:

  • Surveying mothers of newly borns about attitudes to infant formula
  • Surveying higher education students about their study and living conditions
  • Surveying businesses about their financial details
  • Surveying the general public about their vacation plans


Mobile Phone Surveys

Mobile surveys are similar to Email/Online surveys but take advantage of the growing use or internet enabled phones.  In particular the growth of smartphones such as the Apple Iphone or the HTC Desire.  These newer smartphones have bigger screens and more user friendly touchscreens that make completing surveys more user friendly.   Since completing surveys is not always the most exciting thing for the respondent to do, being able to complete it while they wait for the bus or in the back garden sunbathing increases the chances of getting a response.

At Life Consulting we can also have our interviewers collect data using mobile phones, this leads to quicker turnaround of results as data can be instantly uploaded to the server. Read more

Self Completion Postal Surveys

Self-completion surveys may be considered instead of an online survey if the target population do not have internet access or an up to date list of email addresses are not available.  To achieve a reasonable response rate from a self-completion survey the methodology will need to be carefully designed as poorly designed postal surveys yield low response rates.

Mixed Mode Surveys

A Mixed Mode survey is where more than one data collection is used to gather the data.  For example an email or a letter in the post is a more passive form of communication than a phone call or someone knocking on your door so to get some people to act a phone follow up may be required.  Often a combination of email, post and phone is use to achieve a higher and more representative response.

Focus Groups

The focus group is a research technique used to collect data through group interaction on a topic.  It is a group experience comprising a small number of carefully selected people who are recruited to discuss a subject based on the commonality of their experience.  Normally a maximum of 10 people would be selected to participate in a Focus Group with the session lasting no more than two hours.  Focus Groups are good for gathering more in-depth information on a topic but because of the small samples sizes would not normally be representative of the population.

In-depth Interviews

In-depth interviews is a loosely structured interview that allows  both the interviewer and the interviewee to explore additional points and change direction if necessary. Depth interviews are a qualitative data collection method which offer the opportunity to collect rich, descriptive data about people’s behaviours, attitudes and perceptions, and unfolding complex processes. They can be used as a stand alone research method or as part of a multi method design, depending on the needs of the research.

Life Consulting are providers of data analysis, market and social research services. We are experts in conducting both large scale nationally representative research projects and smaller localised projects for both state funded and privately owned organisations using both quantitative and qualitative techniques. We offer best value for money, using the latest research techniques and technology to deliver superior insight to our clientsRead More

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