Research Writing

What is biometric data/Types/Importance/7 uses

What is biometric data?

The use of biometric data has become highly relevant in market research because it reveals information that could not be obtained otherwise on consumer responses to various stimuli, from packaging design to product placement in stores, as well. as before commercials and videos.

Therefore, in this article we present what they consist of, what types exist and how they are currently used in this field.

What is biometric data?

Biometric data is everything related to the measurement of physical characteristics and characteristics of people. In terms of digital identity, this data is used to prove a person’s uniqueness and verify that they are indeed who they say they are.

Biometrics comprises a whole series of technologies and processes to recognize, authenticate and identify people based on certain physical or behavioral characteristics. It can include physiological traits, such as fingerprints and eyes, or behavioral characteristics, such as the security authentication form.

To be useful, biometric data must be unique, permanent, and collectible . Once measured, the information is compared and collated in a database.

Today, biometric technology also offers the potential to help brands bridge the gap between their ads and consumer interests through the use of unique consumer identification characteristics, associating each consumer with their behavioral profile.

Types of biometric data

There are different types of biometric data that vary depending on the context of use. Here are the 6 most common types:

Facial recognition

Facial recognition measures the unique patterns on a person’s face by comparing and analyzing facial contours.

It is used in the field of security and law enforcement, but also as a way to authenticate identity and unlock devices such as smartphones and laptops.

Iris recognition

Identify the unique patterns of a person’s iris, which is the colored area of ​​the eye that surrounds the pupil. Although it is widely used in security applications, it is not widely used in the consumer market.

Fingerprint scanner

Capture the unique pattern of ridges and valleys of a finger. Many smartphones and some laptops use this technology as a type of password to unlock the screen.

Speech recognition

Measures the unique sound waves of the voice when speaking into a device. The bank can use voice recognition to verify the identity of the person when asking for their account, as well as using smart speakers like Alexa to recognize people’s instructions.

Hand geometry

Measure and record the length, thickness, width, and area of ​​a person’s hand. Hand geometry reading devices date back to the 1980s and are often used in security applications.

Behavioral characteristics

Analyze how to interact with a computer system. Keystrokes, handwriting, walking, mouse use, and other movements can assess who the person is using a device or how familiar they are with the information that you are entering.

Importance of biometrics in market research

In market research , biometric data is used to understand how people react physiologically to stimuli, experiences, websites, or even ideas presented to them.

Often times, what people say does not quite match the physical reactions of their body, or the physiological reaction occurs before someone is able to name what they are feeling. For this reason, biometrics is an extremely useful tool in market research .

For example, by biometric eye tracking, we can see where people’s eyes are going and how they scan a physical space (such as a grocery store aisle simulated on a large screen), or the screen of a website or from a phone.

We can then follow up with questions to understand your perceptions of why your eyes gravitate to certain areas rather than others.

This is very useful for user experience research and design, supermarket shelving, and application design, to name a few use cases.

Learn more about the use of biometrics and emotion analysis in this video:

7 uses of biometric data in market research

Now we will introduce you to 7 techniques that use biometric data for market research and market strategy analysis:

Eye tracking

The tracking eye or usually eye – tracking to be the central component of biometric data as synchronized responses from other sensors with the elements that the consumer is looking, so marketers exactly know what causes emotions .

Gaze charts and heat maps reveal what grabs the consumer’s attention and how it consumes the elements of what is being tested visually. Monitoring of pupil dilation also provides an assessment of emotional arousal.

Skin response

The galvanic skin response (GSR) is a useful indicator of emotional arousal or intensity. However, like eye tracking, it does not reveal emotional valence, so we cannot tell if emotions are positive or negative.

To calibrate this important dimension, this technique must be used in conjunction with facial coding.

Face coding

Facial coding is a process by which a person’s true facial expressions are read and understood.

In some circumstances, external variables can influence the way people react to stimuli, affecting their behaviors, emotional responses, attitudes, and choices towards a stimulus.

Face coding helps decode the underlying emotion that is registered on the human face, however brief. Using facial coding effectively can help researchers gauge the true reactions of consumers to a company’s product or service.

Electroencephalogram (EEG)

This device is used to measure changes in brain wave activities. It is relatively easy to access and provides accurate and reliable information on the functioning of the human brain.

The EEG measures brain activity at a subconscious level, far below the surface, where external influences such as education, language, and other influences can affect responses.

EEG is less expensive than other similar techniques and requires fewer specialized facilities, equipment, and technicians to operate. However, biometric data must be translated by a neuroscientist into information that can be understood by researchers.

Observational analytics

Observational analytics consists of examining the reactions of the participants to a certain stimulus. Facial expressions, tone of voice, interaction with the product, and other factors can be analyzed by a qualified observer.

Using this data, researchers can conduct an analysis of consumer behavior and generate ideas for improving products and marketing techniques.

Heart rate monitoring

This technique is usually performed by a machine known as an electrocardiograph, which it uses to measure the condition and health of the human heart. In neuromarketing , an ECG helps marketers observe the heart’s physiological responses to emotional stimuli.

For example, emotional responses to fear, relief, and stress are measured to give marketers a better idea of ​​how a participant responds to a given set of variables.

This allows researchers to observe the effect an ad has on the unconscious mind, consumer behavior, and emotional regions.

Functional magnetic resonance

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI) is used to measure brain activity caused by changes in blood flow.

It’s a fairly new form of biometric market research and it’s getting a lot of attention. This brain scan technique helps to understand how stimuli are analyzed in the brain and which research technique works best, as well as the reasoning behind it.


As you can see, there is a great variety of applications for the use of biometric data, and it generally involves a set of other techniques such as the use of surveys to be able to carry out this methodology.

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