You can ask the client to collect some or all of the data that you will need for your research and this is especially relevant for the collection of primary research. When asking for data, you must take into consideration the client’s needs and limitations. If you ask for something general, that’s exactly what you will get – general information that can not really be used in your research.

When putting a questionnaire together and asking the client to collect some of the primary data, be very specific. At this stage, you need to know what approach you will be using to complete the methodology and how you are planning to analyse the results. Therefore, start with the basics. For example when conducting primary research you may wish to ask:

  1. What date do you want the client to submit the results by?
  2. How many responses do you need them to collect?
  3. What is the criterion of people that you want the responses from?
  4. Which departments should be handled?

Other relevant questions are for you to decide. To ensure that the client collects the data quickly and sends it to you in an appropriate form for analysis, prepare a questionnaire for the client along with an Excel spreadsheet template (for quantitative data) or word document (for qualitative) results entry. Please give the client exact coding instructions, see example here. The results file you get from the client should look like the following sample Results.xls

If you have chosen primary research and the client has sent you the data then you must ensure that all of the information is present. It is very common that the client does not fill in all of the fields that you have asked them to provide. If you start on the work too late then you will not have enough time to chase the client to get more data, in turn making your analysis weaker. Therefore, always check what the client has sent you as soon as you receive the files.