The art of gathering UX research data
Data can be gathered straight up. You can ask anyone who’s worked on the population census. By definition, census data reflect a number of details of the individuals counted, such as name, age, sex, of the person, and more.
However, gathering research data for a budding business idea or a physical prototype can be an opaque and difficult process.
Think of research as a loop
Inherently, data research is an ever-looping iteration. The process is never really done.
At the start of a problem statement formulation, also referred to as the Business Idea Problem Statement, or the Path to a First MVP*, or How Do I Get Started Developing my Idea?, we have already entered the iterative mindset. 
When you have a business idea, write it down. Propose it to yourself as a big idea. Don’t let go. With the iterative mindset, this very frist idea is the seed of your research data gathering.
Every idea can organically evolve by becoming a topic in the room once it enters the iterative space.
Define your research space
How do you do your research? What does your idea require to make it to its first fruitful MVP? How do you outline the research tools?
There are many approaches to defining a research space. We can start with defining our user persona, put that persona into a scenario, define the time of product usage, play out an interaction with the product, write out user queries and conduct first user interviews… the list of available tools is extensive. 
An overview of the research space can quickly define the extent of the data gathering. The more research tools we access, such as user interviews, existing product analyses, or mind mapping exercises, the more data we can generate for analysis.