Secondary research differs from primary research in that it relies solely and completely on information and data available online or through other published sources. Essentially it means you are using data and research collected by someone else. This includes analyzing data prepared by other industry experts and or syndicated databases.
There are a number of secondary research vendors and data available for a market research firm. Some of the more popular 3rd party data sources include Census data or Nielsen Scarborough data. With Nielsen data, you are provided with a mass amount of data for the designated market areas (DMAs) you buy-into. These databases work off of yearly contracts in which you buy the ability to access and use the data.
The Nielsen survey uses 2,000 completes per DMA and collects information on everything from basic household demographics to the number of homes that have solar panels. Nielsen uses a 15 phone survey with a follow-up 45 minute mail survey to collect this data and it is widely know as one of the most popular secondary data sources in the country. In addition to being comprehensive, buying into Nielsen can also be an expensive venture.
Secondary research is usually a component of a larger market research project that involves primary research. In addition to asking customized questions in your phone or online survey, secondary research can provide you with basic demographics and behaviors of a market area. Need advice on how to approach your next market research project? Contact Drive Research, a market research firm in Syracuse, NY at mail or by calling 315-303-2040.