Data provider: how to search for and select the best one

The market research process is difficult, and we all know that an agency researcher’s job is no walk in the park either. There are many shared challenges that professionals in this field face as they gather information with their data provider.

Below, we’ll share some of the obstacles and advantages of conducting a market research study with the proper tools.


Agency researchers and the challenges involved in market studies 

Mass data, mobile research, and social media analysis has been growing considerably. This means that now researchers must have more tools on their toolbelt.

Not to mention, other factors, such as cost reduction, have exerted even more pressure. Thus, market research professionals are trying to leverage collaboration with a good data provider.

But what motivates them to seek out new ways of optimizing their data-gathering process? Here are some of the factors:



For example, if this exercise is only going to be carried out manually, you could run the risk of errors slipping through due to human error. Then, when the data gathered diminishes in quality, information extrapolated from that data is also at high risk of being flawed or even incorrect.


Target Audience 

Clearly determining the target audience enables you to focus your research efforts. In general, knowing characteristics such as gender, education level, and income in advance makes it possible to ask more specific questions.

That said, when your target audience has a more complex composition, you should ideally work with a data provider who has access to a wide variety of profiling variables. This will make it possible, for example, to reach “digital” mothers in Brazil between 30 and 40 years old who live in urban areas, manage their finances with online banking, and regularly use navigation apps. 



One major part of research design involves determining the most suitable methodology for that research (questionnaires or surveys, online communities, focus groups, in-depth interviews, etc.).

The goal is for the data provider to deliver tools that make data gathering and processing easy and reliable.



With so much data available, the final result depends on the collaboration that takes place between the research agency and its client. Since clients understand their businesses better than anyone else, agencies need to make sure they receive the most relevant data possible about the market, the consumer, and the product being evaluated.

This makes it possible to avoid mistaken hypotheses or incorrect answers when the research comes to a close.


Risks for agency researchers working without a reliable data provider

Many providers lack a clear basis or precise methodological foundation for providing high-quality data. There's no shortage of examples. 

Consider, for a moment, a data provider that sends an online questionnaire to its panelists, but which has no way of ensuring that a single respondent doesn’t have more than one account registered. The responses received won’t be reliable, and are very likely to generate false or erroneous insights. 

This kind of misstep can have serious consequences, including, most notably:

  • Mistaken insights that don’t reflect consumers’ opinions about a given product or brand.
  • Hypotheses based on unreliable information.
  • Loss of short- or long-term customers.

Data provider with quality panel online

Choosing the right data provider 

Hiring a high-quality, certified data provider has many advantages, including prestige. Research agencies gain recognition among clients by submitting data rated as highly reliable.

For this to happen, they must take the following considerations into account when selecting a data provider:



To ensure high-quality research, joining forces with a reliable organization with a solid client base and demonstrated results is essential. It’s best to review a data provider’s background and credentials and ask yourself:

  • Who are their current clients? 
  • How long have they been in the field? 
  • How big is their team? 
  • Do they provide accessible customer service? 


Data-gathering methods

These days, there are many processes to help you make sure data gathered is from confirmed sources. For example, the data provider can guarantee there are no duplicates among its panelists.



A sophisticated data provider can implement cutting-edge technology so that its process is quick and structured. Additionally, you can seek out a partner that has proprietary data-gathering technology. This way, you will make sure data isn’t being shared with other intermediary companies.


Ethical data handling 

As you’re undoubtedly already aware, there are several data protection laws, each with its own characteristics. However, if your provider complies with the GDPR, you have the guarantee that it is governed by the world’s highest standards.


Relationship with panelists

When a data provider has a loyalty-based relationship with its panelists, you have an advantage that translates into the possibility of conducting even more complex studies. For example, in the future, you could access panelists’ online browsing data with their full consent.



In the world of market research, there are ISO standards that apply to both agencies and providers. That said, having a partner who complies with these norms is far from a guarantee of quality.


Netquest as a model data provider in the market

We all know that given the pandemic, conducting research in the current landscape has been a challenge. However, thanks to Netquest’s innovation, its continued performance as a world-class data provider has not diminished.

Netquest was founded in 2001 as a business dedicated exclusively to developing technologies for online research solutions. Within just four years, it had created the first online panel for market-research companies.

But technology is just one side of data gathering. Netquest is aware that people are the first pillar of high-quality data. For this reason, as an agency researcher, you can be certain that at Netquest, you will find:


Genuine People

Our company specializes in offering robust data that come from our close relationship with over 2 million panelists. This loyal relationship is possible because we offer transparent communication, fair compensation and maximal data protection. 


A Genuine Panel

Our online panels, made up of genuine people, comply with the highest quality standards, in compliance with ISO 20252. The characteristics that enable us to build genuine panels include:

  • High loyalty rates

Clear and timely communication with our affiliate panelists + an attractive rewards system for their participation. Thanks to that loyalty, we can launch long-term, complex projects with deep profiling, i.e. expansion of profiling variables to build and understand a sample in even greater detail.

  • Ethical data handling

Our panelists’ personal data remains anonymous, in compliance with legal obligations such as the GDPR.

  • Continuous Quality Control

In compliance with the ISO 20252 quality standard for market research, we find real, genuine people to be our panelists, avoiding identity fraud and other situations that may damage research results.


Genuine Data

As data providers, at Netquest, we help you generate a 360° view of your consumers based on high-quality, single-source data. 

Our panels can offer you much more than just opinion data. For example, you can learn about:

  • Online browsing and behavior data: Search analysis, sites visited, as well as the web portals users check before making a purchase.
  • Online shopping: Analysis of items in users’ shopping carts.
  • Geolocation: Thanks to georeferencing technologies, we are able to analyze the areas through which panelists move.
  • Audio-matching: By analyzing ambient sound, we can measure exposure to audio and video marketing.

Finally, data-capture is only the first part of guaranteeing success. A good data provider doesn’t just provide you with quality, but also advice on how to optimally apply and leverage it.

By trusting Netquest, you will have a team ready to work with your organization and team members at your disposal. Learn the advantages of having a reliable relationship with your data provider by contacting us today!

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