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Business Research Method

Secondary Data


Primary vs. Secondary Data

Primary data are collected directly from the respondents and are originated by a researcher for the specific purpose of addressing the problem at hand. Secondary data are data which have already been collected for purposes other than the problem at hand. These data can be located quickly and inexpensively.


A Comparison of Primary & Secondary Data

Primary Data Collection Collection Collection Collection purpose process cost time For the problem at hand Very Involved High Long Secondary Data For other problems Rapid & easy Relatively low Short


Uses of Secondary Data

Identify the problem Better define the problem Develop an approach to the problem Formulate an appropriate research design (for example, by identifying the key variables) Answer certain research questions and test some hypotheses Interpret primary data more insightfully


Limitations of Secondary Data

Lack of availability for the specific study Lack of relevance on account of changes in situation & time factor Inaccuracy in collection & presentation to avoid some specific realities

A Classification of Secondary Fig. 4.1 Data

Secondary Data





Internal Secondary Data

Secondary data available within the organisation ---Sales Records ---Financial & accounting records ---Production Data ---Miscellaneous reports including past studies


Internal Secondary Data

Sales by product line Sales by major department (e.g., men's wear, house wares) Sales by specific stores Sales by geographical region Sales by cash versus credit purchases Sales in specific time periods Sales by size of purchase Sales trends in many of these classifications


External Secondary Data

Secondary data that exists outside the company General Business Sources ----Books & periodicals -----Directories -----Trade & Manufacturers Associations Government sources Syndicated Services


A Classification of Published Secondary Sources

Published Secondary Data

General Business Sources

Government Sources

B ooks & Periodicals



Census Data

Other Government Publications


A Classification of Computerized Databases

Computerized Databases




Bibliographic Databases

Numeric Databases

Full-Text Databases

Directory Databases

SpecialPurpose Databases

General Business Sources


Books & periodicals Books, Journals, Business Weeklies, Dailies Associations Publications of industry & Trade Associations Publications of Coffee board, Coir Board, Rubber Board Publications of Cotton Mills Federation, Woolen Mills Federation Publications FICCI, ASOCHAM ,CII Directories Industry specific directories gives first hand information about existing players & their products Examples: Bombay Stock exchange Directories, Trade show directories, Tata Yellow Pages (classified information on products ,services & organizations) Special Studies Special collection consisting of diverse material University publications, Theses, Company publications Miscellaneous research reports

The Registrar General of India conducts population census every 10 years The Central Statistical Organization (CSO) has publications giving data on National economy, statistics for various sectors ,performance of industrial sector etc The Director General of Commercial intelligence gives data on foreign trade The National Sample Surveys gives detailed data on social, economic, demographic ,industrial & agricultural statistics through its various rounds The department of economic affairs ministry of finance publishes Economic Survey Of India every year on the eve of budget presentation Agricultural situation in India-Monthly- by Ministry of Food & Agriculture Indian Labor Bureau publishes monthly Indian Labour Journal RBI has various publications giving data on banking & finance All India consumer price index , wholesale price index by the central Government State Statistical Bureaus give state wise data

Government sources



Classification of Computerized Databases

Bibliographic databases are composed of citations to articles. Numeric databases contain numerical and statistical information. Full-text databases contain the complete text of the source documents comprising the database. Directory databases provide information on individuals, organizations, and services. Special-purpose databases provide specialized information.


Syndicated Services
Companies that collect and sell common pools of data of known commercial value designed to serve a number of clients. Syndicated sources can be classified based on the unit of measurement (households/consumers or institutions). Household/consumer data may be obtained from surveys, diary panels, or electronic scanner services. Institutional data may be obtained from retailers, wholesalers, or industrial firms. ACNielson ,ORG-MARG, IMRB

Syndicated Services


Surveys: Commercial surveys of 3 types Periodic Surveys : Conducted at regular intervals Topic remains the same but respondents change Are useful in studying trends in competitive environment & consumer behaviour Mail, personal interviews & telephonic interviews

Syndicated Services


Panel Surveys : Conducted among group of respondents who have agreed to be the member of the panel Same members are surveyed within specified time period to find their responses to various marketing stimuli Are useful in studying nature of individual change Mainly mail but also personal interviews, telephonic interviews & FGDs It is possible to have quick access to sample

Syndicated Services


Shared Surveys : Questionnaires contain pool of questions of interest to different clients Titled Multi client ,Omnibus or shared Surveys Clients do not have access to data or questions asked by other clients Extensive demographic data available for analysis On account of sharing the cost per question is low Used for market segmentation ,product image determination, price perception analysis & effectiveness of ads

Syndicated Services


Audits: An In -depth analysis of existing situation Carried out by physical inspection Different Types of Audits Store Audits : Provides data on quantity of a packaged product that is being sold at different types of retail stores Helps in measuring performance of a brand against its competitors Helps in evaluating main reasons for the product being off the shelf

Syndicated Services


Product Audits: Focuses on covering all types of outlets that store a particular product Store audit for close up toothpaste help estimating total potential market & distribution of sales by type of retail outlets & various regions Product audit would include wholesalers as well as different types of retailers for auditing Retail Distribution Audit : Auditors enter a retail shop unannounced Record stock holdings ,shelf facings, prices &other relevant information for selected product category

Syndicated Services


Pantry Audits: Pantry audits are conducted in the pantries of consumers Helps in finding out consumer preferences by studying quantity, price & type of goods purchased by the consumers This could be followed by a questioning session to find out exact reasons for purchases Uses of Audit : Assessing brand share & total market size Identifying inventory problems Developing sales potential & forecasts Limitations Audit data cannot be associated to consumer characteristics

Syndicated Services


Panels: A group of individuals or organisations that have agreed to provide information to researcher over a period of time Two Types of Panels -Retail Scanner Panels -Consumer Panels Retail Scanner Panels : Retail panel consists of samples of retail outlets which use electronic scanner systems to scan barcodes on products Data from checkout scanner tapes are collected to record sales & other details for various products Two types of scanner data are available : Volume Tracking & Scanner panels

Syndicated Services


Volume Tracking Data: The UPC of all purchases are scanned electronically The codes are then linked to their prices stored in computers Data are analysed to deliver reports of sales by brand, size, flavour &market share as against time, area & store type Useful in detecting price elasticities & placement of products in stores Difficult to link purchases to elements of marketing mix other than price Scanner Panels : In Scanner panels each household member of the selected sample household is given an I-Card Customers are required to swipe their I-Cards at the checkout counters Thus consumer identity is linked to product purchases Lifestyle & demographic data of customers can be used in analysis

Syndicated Services
Consumer Panels:


A group of individuals that have agreed to provide information to researcher over a period of time Two Types of Panels -Diary Panels -Media Panels Diary Panels : A panel of households who continuously record their purchases of selected products in a diary Data on dates & store of purchase, number & sizes of packages, amount paid influence of promotions Electronic diaries are also used (computer or devices) Sales forecasting, market share, ad effectiveness ,brand loyalty Not yet used extensively in India Media Panels : Used to record data on media habits of target customers Electronic devices ( Nielsons People Meter )automatically records TV viewing behavior, supplemented by a diary Establishing advertising rates; selecting media program or air time; establishing viewer profiles

Syndicated Services Warranty Cards Post card sized cards used by dealers in consumer durable industry Dealers send cards to consumers who post them back Dealers gathers information from the consumers about the product