Delve Deep for Strong Stats Part Two

Delve Beneath The Surface for Strong Stats

Many people looking for statistics are like snorkelers. They just go snorkelling.  Googling. They like the idea of deep diving but don’t want to invest the time it takes to learn the skills. Linda Lee Walden says many snorkelers end up trying to dive beneath the surface. Free dive. They swim headfirst down to about 6 feet (2 m) and suddenly develop a stabbing pain in their ears, sending them shooting back to the surface.

A Little Deeper

Or maybe you just cut to the chase and go straight to your government’s statistic agency. If you are in the US that might be here, or if you are down under it might be here. In Canada, where I’m based, we might head on over to Stats Canada. Problem with that is you just can’t trust they are accurate. Sadly, gone are the days when you knew if they were government statistics, they would be accurate. End of story.

But we can’t be sure who to trust these days. A relatively respected Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail published a story May 22 about Stats Canada and some sordid details of  the former Harper government. They cut the budget so drastically in recent years that some surveys had to be discontinued.

For example the survey of labour and income dynamics. A release by the Chamber of Commerce says “Good information is the basis of good decisions”, implying good decisions were not being made in Canada. The bottom line is that we can’t trust that statistics from Stats Canada are accurate.

Trusted Sources

I have two absolute favourite sources. One is HubSpot. Hop over there for a free e-book full of “120 Awesome Stats, Charts, and Graphs. Relevant to anyone even remotely interested in marketing online.

My other absolute favourite source of research is Content Marketing Institute. Take a second to see how they constantly outdo themselves with data such as:

 The use of social media, blogs, and infographics is increasing. More B2B small-business marketers are using social media content other than blogs as a content marketing tactic. Even though social media was the tactic used most often last year, the percentage using it this year grew even more (88% last year vs. 93% this year). The other two areas where we saw the biggest usage increases are:

  • Blogs – 77% last year vs. 87% this year
  • Infographics – 48% last year vs. 60% this year

Your Own Data and Statistics

So here’s how to delve beneath the surface for strong stats. Start a data gathering campaign so that you are in a position to create your own statistics. This is of course the ideal solution – but it takes time. Care must be taken in gathering data, to make sure it’s valid. The danger of using data that’s not valid is this. Your statistics will then be inaccurate and you’ll  lose credibility.

Finally, you’ve heard it before: there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. It holds true here. Use one or any combination of proven methods. Here are some excellent ways to collect your data:

  • phone interviews
  • face-to-face interviews
  • interviews on Skype, Zoom, Google Chat, etc.
  • questionnaires (paper and pencil)
  • questionnaires (social media; e-mail)

If you use any of these methods with success now, it would be great to hear about it here. Would you like to share with readers here? Leave  a comment on the Contact Me page!