Online data collection? Cheaper now!


Collecting data for research is a time consuming and costly process. It was like that before. But with the spread of the Internet, a lot began to change. How and in which direction?

According to the international association of marketing professionals , in 2014 – 2016. in most countries of the world, the cost of research has gradually declined. However, by 2018, the cost of personal interviews, as the highest quality ones, returned to the prices of 2014 and even surpassed them, but the prices for research on the Internet continue to decline.

Compare. In 2010, according to the Association, in the global market, the cost of conventional research ( conventional research is implemented in the format of “use and attitude” and includes about 15-30 closed questions ) on the Internet was about 14 thousand dollars. And in 2018, it was already only $ 8,000.

If we consider the key markets for world research – such as the United States, Great Britain, Germany, France and Japan, it can be noted that back in 2010 the average price of a simple online project was $ 27,000 here, and in 2018 it dropped to $ 9,000.

What has changed? Why has the cost of online research dropped and continues to decline? The answer is simple: the data collection process has become automated. Automatic data collection is not done by humans, but by robotic programs. And this format is actively developing. It allows you to quickly and easily find more information in the online space.


What are the implications of automating online data collection? Thanks to the spread of this method, the difference in the cost of research in the markets of different countries (for example, developed and developing countries) is gradually disappearing. So, if back in 2010 this difference was 93%, then in 2018 it was only 12%. And this is logical. After all, online research can be carried out in any country, while being in any part of the world.

The price of internet research will continue to fall. This happens, of course, due to even greater automation and transfer of development to cheaper countries. But prices are also dropping due to a drop in the quality of information. The internet is filled with rubbish. Fake sites with fake prices, fake advertisements for the sale of anything appear in the Internet space. Here, professional respondents are actively working and, of course, bots are actively working, which are engaged in boosting ratings / views / attendance, in a word, anything. And all this significantly reduces the quality of the information collected and leads to a drop in trust and demand.

This trend is gradually showing up in the Russian market as well. I have already seen research estimates in which there was no charge for collecting data on the Internet. That is, the money was taken only for the analysis, preparation of reports and / or the development of the data output system itself. With free cheese in mind, this trend is daunting. Indeed, when data collection costs 0 or 1 ruble per unit in one estimate and 30 rubles per unit in another, this gives a serious reason to think about the quality of the information obtained in the first case.

About the Author

Alexander Gruzdev is an extraordinarily experienced consultant in business analytics. Since he was 14, Mr. Gruzdev was working in the market research industry and started several businesses including gambling organizations, retail shops, and real estate.

Since his first entrepreneurial endeavors began, he never quit market research – in fact, during the last 15 years Mr. Gruzdev held the positions of general manager and shareholder in this segment. His experience in global market intelligence spans over 20 countries including Europe, Russia, Asia, and the MENA region, for more than 100 different customers.