What is data acquisition?

Data acquisition is the process of collecting and ingesting data from one or more sources and storing it in a storage medium (for example, a database).

But don't confuse it with data acquisition systems (DAQ) in electronics, which is the process of converting analog waveforms collected from sensors into digital values for processing. (We know, sounds groovy right 😄?)

Data ingestion

Data ingestion is all about how data comes into a system—dumping data into a storage repository such as a data warehouse or a data lake.

How can you collect data?

That depends on the type of data. In data science, the data collected can either be internal or external.

Internal data or primary data is data you own or collect, such as sales data, website data, customer information and financial data.

External data is information that exists outside your organization, such as census data, social media data, weather info, geospatial data and data sold by data providers. (aka the cool new kid on the block! 😎)

While it's easy to get caught up in the obsession with external data, it's not always required. You should find out whether your internal data is enough to solve your requirements, identify what information is missing, and (only if needed) then look for external data sources to fill in the gaps.

What should you do if the data that you want doesn't exist yet?

A situation not completely unheard of.

If you're facing such a situation, you can create your own data using standard data collection techniques such as questionnaires, interviews, and focus group discussions.

Standard data collection techniques.

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See also

Articles you might be interested in

  1. The complete guide to data collection [Ebook]
  2. 4 data collection techniques
  3. Choosing the right tool for data collection
  4. 18 data validations that will help you collect accurate data