Why Your Research Needs Real-Time Data Collection and Community Engagement

Margaret Becker

It’s no secret that data collection and data management are changing—and for the better. With fewer barriers to entry and real-time updates, data is set to become more accurate and representative than ever before. However, you need the right tools to capture these insights in real time to obtain fully accurate results and act on your community’s most pressing needs.


Traditional data capture formats (e.g. static surveys) are unable to offer timely, crucial insights, often lacking: 

  • The ability to capture data in real time and across time to fully understand your participants’ experiences, thoughts, feelings, and opinions
  • The ability to quickly respond to participant data and provide solutions
  • The ability to engage your participants in real-time
  • The ability to exchange valuable information between researcher and participant 


Fixing these challenges requires a real-time approach to data collection, with an emphasis on community participation. When you can capture participant responses in the moment and across time, and engage with your subjects about those experiences, it brings a new level of accuracy to your research as you are truly understanding your audience’s human experience. 


Capturing data and connecting with your audience in real time eliminates the guesswork and brings a new level of accuracy to your research. With a fuller picture, you can quickly provide solutions and initiate behavior change. 


Additionally, this approach allows you to communicate with your audience throughout the study to gather deeper qualitative data and provide quick responses. This promotes a value exchange between all parties instead of a static, one-time survey that only benefits the researcher and not the participants. 


By using a real-time data collection tool that marries quantitative and qualitative data, supported by a community engagement platform, researchers from many types of institutions can better understand and engage with their communities for maximum impact.


Let’s explore 5 cases of how this type of real-time data collection and community-based research works within different types of organizations.

Clinical research

Clinical researchers are more deeply understanding how their interventions play out in the real world while also establishing critical peer-to-peer networks thanks to human-powered data platforms. 


Using real-time data collection and community engagement, these researchers can respond with in-the-moment treatments, making their efforts that much more concise and relevant. This allows the team to cultivate open lines of communication among participants and create strong social support networks within a particular population. 

Education

Within academic circles, educators are getting a pulse on their students’ experiences with much greater accuracy and ease. Real-time data collection and community engagement helps administrators professors and faculty staff understand their student’s day-to-day social, emotional, and academic needs. 


When administrators have the opportunity to respond with curated messaging, content, and support at the right time, they can provide students with important tools to cope with the emotional stressors they face throughout the day. This open dialogue keeps the conversation going and can create a sense of belonging within their circles. 

Entrepreneurship centers

Entrepreneurship centers need to track progress and engage with their start-up pipelines in real time to foster growth during a critical period. With a real-time data collection tool, organizations can quickly understand the fundamental needs of the companies they serve and respond with the necessary support. Ongoing engagement and an open feedback loop help them better understand their programs’ impact. 


If the entrepreneurs find themselves struggling with go-to-market marketing strategies or team dynamics, an experience-based data platform can offer relevant, tailored tools exactly when these companies need it most. Communicating throughout the entire process, entrepreneurship centers and their audiences can create a sense of belonging and social support throughout the organization. 


Nonprofits

Nonprofit organizations are using software to digitize their services and engage with communities in the virtual space. Real-time data collection and community engagement allow them to better understand the needs of their most important stakeholders and what matters most to them. Plus, it provides valuable insight into the performance of their programs


From here, nonprofits can respond with more relevant and highly-targeted content that meets the specific needs of their stakeholders and partners. Once the lines of communication have been established in this way, it’s much easier to continue fruitful conversations and foster a sense of community. 

Talent management

Talent-management leaders are using human-focused data platforms to track, engage, and motivate employees. By monitoring workers’ daily social, emotional, and workplace performance needs, companies can see which tools and developmental programs are truly making a difference. 


With this real-time data collection and community engagement, leaders can respond with specific professional development programming that meets the exact needs of their teams. Human-centered, real-time data software also offers the ability to be proactive in addressing any issues that may start to impact employee well-being. With a trustworthy system in place, leaders can connect on a more personal level with those that they work with and communicate more effectively. 

How will real-time data collection and community engagement benefit your community?

Real-time data collection with a focus on community engagement is the next generation of research. Bringing teams from various industries closer together, ExpiWell’s real-time data collection and community engagement tool helps to create meaningful connections and even more meaningful results. 


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