Secondary Data

Topics: Marketing, Database, Marketing strategy Pages: 10 (2025 words) Published: August 11, 2011
Q) What are Secondary Data?

Secondary Data

Secondary data is information gathered for purposes other than the completion of a research project. Data previously collected by someone else, possibly for some other purpose that can be used later for making decisions if found suitable for the purpose, other than the original one. Secondary data can be acquired from the internal records of the organization, their departments, subsidiaries or sister organizations and also from external sources, such as chambers of commerce, government, professional and commercial consultants subject to the availability of data .

• e.g., data in books, journals, newspapers, magazines, etc. • e.g., data in reports, surveys, etc

A variety of secondary information sources is available to the researcher gathering data on an industry, potential product applications and the market place. Secondary data is also used to gain initial insight into the research problem. Secondary data is classified in terms of its source – either internal or external. Internal, or in-house data, is secondary information acquired within the organization where research is being carried out. External secondary data is obtained from outside sources. The secondary information will provide a useful background and will identify key questions and issues that will need to be addressed by the primary research.


• Low cost
• Less effort
• Less time
• At times, more accurate
• At times, only way to obtain data


• Collected for some other purpose
• No control over data collection
• May not be accurate
• May not be in correct form
• May be outdated
• May not meet data requirements
• Assumptions have to be made

Q) What are the major problems encountered with Secondary Data?

It is necessary that the secondary data are taken from a source which obtained from the original source, and then a secondary source is being used. It is important to avoid the use of secondary sources by using only the original sources for a Secondary Data.

The other problems may include:

• Secondary information pertinent to the research topic is either not available, or is only available in insufficient quantities.

• Some secondary data may be of questionable accuracy and reliability. Even government publications and trade magazines statistics can be misleading. For example, many trade magazines survey their members to derive estimates of market size, market growth rate and purchasing patterns, then average out these results. Often these statistics are merely average opinions based on less than 10% of their members.

• Data may be in a different format or units than is required by the researcher.

• The methodology used by the party for collecting the secondary data is not explained and the accuracy level may not be verified.

• Much secondary data is several years old and may not reflect the current market conditions. Trade journals and other publications often accept articles six months before appear in print. The research may have been done months or even years earlier.

Q) What are the major sources of Internal Data?

Internal Data
Internal secondary data is usually an inexpensive information source for the company conducting research, and is the place to start for existing operations. Internally generated sales and pricing data can be used as a research source. The use of this data is to define the competitive position of the firm, an evaluation of a marketing strategy the firm has used in the past, or gaining a better understanding of the company’s best customers.

The main sources of internal data may include:
1. Sales and marketing reports.
These can include such things as:
• Type of product/service purchased
• Type of end-user/industry segment
• Method of payment
• Product or product...
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