Primary And Secondary Sources: When The Information Is Or Not At Home

In the day to day of people and organizations, records are made of many of the processes they carry out. For example, at home we make supermarket lists, plans for tasks to be done the next day, budgets and expense controls. Companies, due to the number of activities and controls to which they are subject, have a greater volume of generation, coding and storage of data and information.

In Market Research, as in many other scientific disciplines, we approach studies through two main types of information sources. The classification is made by the origin and the existence of the sources. With the combination of both we obtain a first matrix of four subtypes that we describe below.

  • Internal primary. The data and information classified here are those generated internally by interested parties. The most common example is the research carried out by the market intelligence departments of the same companies for their internal purposes. Here external market analysts can collaborate as suppliers to the brands to strengthen their collection and analysis capabilities.
  • External primary. Contrary to the previous one, the studies are made at the express request and are carried out outside the sphere of action of the requesting party. Here we find the investigations that brands delegate entirely to market research agencies. Except for long-term projects, most of the reports and documents that we can find in this class are unitary and respond to specific questions at a specific time.
  • Internal secondary. This type of source refers to the documents and databases that already exist within the organizations that require them, so it is not necessary to resort to third parties to produce them. It is rarely verified in research projects with external analysts given their confidentiality and areas of opportunity to replicate the methodology of previous research. However, it has a lot of potential since on several occasions the client’s needs can be solved by ordering and synthesizing what they already have and have produced.
  • External secondary. Here are the sources generated by other people or organizations other than those who require them and that are already available to the public at the time of your request. Some classic examples of research of this type are the Surveys and Censuses of the Geography and Statistics Organizations of the countries (unless the State requires such data). Most research resorts to this type of provisioning given its geographical coverage, the fact that it is possible to establish statistical comparisons between exercises over long periods of time, and its accessibility.

Working with each type of data sources implies a series of skills and abilities. Regarding the primary sources, a correct design and execution of the projects make the difference when analyzing the data obtained in the field. On the other hand, when working with secondary sources, it is essential to have an orderly, detailed profile and great criteria to discern between valuable documents and those that are not. At Acertiva we have experts in handling these sources. Write us today to tell us what your market knowledge needs are in Latin America.