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6 min

What is a data collection panel and why should you have one

An article explaining everything about a data collection panel and why you should have one

Dec 24, 2022
B2B market research
B2C market research


What is a data collection panel, and why would you want one? A data collection panel is simply a group of people willing and able to answer your questions. Sounds simple enough, right? Well, not so fast! There are some other benefits to using a data collection panel that can really help take your market research efforts to the next level. We’ll cover them below.

What is a data collection panel?

At its core, a data collection panel is simply a group of people willing and able to answer your questions. They are recruited through a variety of methods, compensated for their time, and asked to answer questions about their opinions and experiences (sometimes in the form of surveys). In addition, they may be asked to provide information about themselves.

The value of having this type of large pool of panellists is that it can help you gather insights more quickly than you would otherwise be able to do with traditional research methods or focus groups. This is because traditional research methods often require payment or travel expenses outlayed by participants. This is especially true if your topic isn't particularly niche.

The biggest benefit of using a panel is that you can get feedback from a large group of people, which can help you identify trends in the data. You’re also able to quickly gather information about how many people like or dislike something. This in turn helps inform decisions on whether or not it should be changed.

When it comes to data collection panels, the biggest benefit is speed

The biggest benefit of using a data collection panel is speed. When you ask for data from participants, it can take weeks or even months to get the results. A data collection panel allows you to start collecting data immediately, without having to worry about recruiting and vetting participants. You can also test your ideas quickly with real people instead of having them go through the same research study multiple times over the course of several months or years.

A second benefit of using a data collection panel is cost efficiency. The traditional method of recruiting research participants requires sending out hundreds or thousands of emails promoting studies that might not be relevant for all respondents. However, one benefit of a data collection panel is that participants are recruited and paid based on their availability (which often means taking time away from other projects). Data collection panels focus solely on participants who are already interested in online surveys, so there's a lesser need for marketing costs like email blasts or paid advertising campaigns. A panel also requires less scheduling fees since all interactions between the researcher and the company occur electronically over an extended period rather than in-person visits. For more information on marketing costs, check out this guide here.

Data collection panels are also more likely to attract participants who have a vested interest in the topic at hand since they've already signed up for this type of research. In contrast, traditional researchers must rely on a certain number of unsolicited responses (i.e. people who were not previously aware of the study but were contacted by email anyway) to get the data they need.

Panel participants are all opted-in and ready to go

That means your data collection panel has already been pre-screened (meaning they have gone through a process that ensures they meet all of the criteria you need). Additionally, they will also be more likely to be honest with you and give you the information that’s needed for your project.

The other benefit of using a data collection panel is that it saves you time. You don’t have to spend hours or days trying to find participants, because they are already there! You can simply reach out and ask them if they would be willing to participate in your research project.

Having a pre-assembled data collection panel saves you time on recruiting, vetting, and compensating participants

This is because you are able to acquire the necessary permissions before recruiting the individuals for your panel. Participants in the panel will have already agreed to participate in research studies and provide access to their data. Additionally, since these participants have been pre-screened by the company for certain demographic characteristics such as age and gender, it is more likely that they will fit into your target audience profile than randomly recruited individuals who may not match your ideal profile as closely as possible.

A quality data collection panel gives you access to more than just answers

A quality data collection panel can be a great asset to your business. Not only do they give you access to a pool of potential customers and users, but they also bring with them additional benefits.

You may already have an email list that you send emails out to on a regular basis. Your panel members are likely already part of your email database. They could also be used as brand ambassadors by promoting new products or services in their own networks through social media and other channels.

Not only will they promote new products or services, but they can also help recruit new panel members from their existing contacts’ contact lists as well as collect additional data from other sources like surveys or focus groups for further insight into your target market. 

A data collection panel can be a great way to gain access to more information about your target market. Not only do they help you collect additional data, but they also bring with them other benefits such as being able to promote new products or services in their networks or recruit new panel members.

Data collection panels are great for finding out more about your product or organisation

A data collection panel is a group of people who are willing to give you feedback on your product or organisation. The way that they provide this feedback is through an online survey. They do this in exchange for compensation, typically in the form of cash or gift cards.

The great thing about a data collection panel is that it lets you get feedback from actual customers about your product, company, and business model. You can ask them questions and see how they feel about things like:

  • Your product design
  • The packaging and branding of your product
  • Your pricing model (are you charging too much or too little?)
  • The customer service process (is it easy enough for people to follow?)

You can also get feedback on things like: your website design (is it easy to navigate?), your product packaging (does it look attractive?), and the quality of the materials you use (do people think your product is cheaply made?). You can use this information to make improvements and updates to your company and products. A guide on how to collect and utilise feedback can be found here.

Businesses can use data collection panels to gain real insights about their own customers

Companies use data collection panels to better understand their customers. For example, a business might run a survey to ask customers about their experiences with the product or service or gather information from social media postings.

  • Understanding your audience
  • Improving the product or service
  • Enhancing marketing campaigns
  • Improving customer service
  • Gaining knowledge about operations

Direct experience with a data collection panel reach gives you more meaningful results

A data collection panel allows you to ask questions that are specific to your business, get feedback on your product or service, and understand the motivations of your target customers.

While there are many ways to collect this information, a data collection panel gives you the opportunity to ask questions that are more relevant than those asked in surveys or focus groups. It also allows you to get insights into customer behaviour and motivations.

Essentially, a data collection panel is a group of people who are asked to participate in surveys and other types of research. They can be recruited through social media sites like Facebook or LinkedIn, or through traditional advertising campaigns.

Some possible downsides of an external data collection panel

Sometimes using a third-party data collection panel might not be beneficial for your research project. In these cases, you might find it better to use a panel from your own customer base. There are a number of reasons why a data collection panel of your own customers is beneficial:

  • You have a better understanding of their needs. This can help you to better serve them, and in turn, improve customer loyalty and retention.
  • You know what the customer is looking for. If you're using 3rd party panels, then you don't really know how well they fit with your product or service-you just think they might be interested in it because they're similar to other people who have bought from you before (which isn't always true).
  • You get an accurate picture of what they think about your product or service. If someone doesn't respond favourably to something you've offered them, perhaps there's another way that could work better for them. Or maybe the issue isn't with your company itself but with how it was advertised online? A data panel lets us find out so that we can make improvements where needed.


In summary, data collection panels are a great way for businesses to get access to valuable insights. They're fast, cost-effective, and easy to use. They can also give you access to a wealth of information about your customers, including demographics and intent-driven questions that will help you grow your business in the right direction. If you're interested in finding out more about panels, don't hesitate to contact us here.

Thinking of choosing a panel provider? Check out our guide on choosing B2B panel providers here.

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