Secondary Data

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. BENEFITS • Low cost • Less effort • Less time • At times, more accurate • At times, only way to obtain data LIMITATION • 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for some other purpose • No control over data collection • May not be accurate • May not be in correct form • May be outdated • May not meet data requirements • Assumptions have to be made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 line • Sales territory • Salesperson • Date of purchase • Amount of purchase • Price • Application by product • Location of end-user 2. Accounting and financial records.
These are often an overlooked source of internal secondary information and can be invaluable in the identification, clarification and prediction of certain problems. Accounting records can be used to evaluate the success of various marketing strategies such as revenues from a direct marketing campaign. There are several problems in using accounting and financial data. One is the timeliness factor – it is often several months before accounting statements are available. Another is the structure of the records themselves. Most firms do not adequately setup their accounts to provide the types of answers to research questions that they need.
For example, the account systems should capture project/product costs in order to identify the company’s most profitable (and least profitable) activities. Companies should also consider establishing performance indicators based on financial data. These can be industry standards or unique ones designed to measure key performance factors that will enable the firm to monitor its performance over a period of time and compare it to its competitors. Some example may be sales per employee, sales per square foot, expenses per employee (salesperson, etc. ). 3. Miscellaneous reports.
These can include such things as inventory reports, service calls, number (qualifications and compensation) of staff, production and R&D reports. Also the company’s business plan and customer calls (complaints) log can be useful sources of information. COMMON SOURCES OF INTERNAL SECONDARY DATA Information originating within the company 1. Sales invoices a. Customer name b. Address c. Class of product/service sold d. Price by unit e. Salesperson f. Term of sales g. Shipment point 2. Accounts receivable reports a. Customer name b. Product purchased c. Total unit and dollar sales d. Customer as percentage of sales . Customer as percentage of regional sales f. Profit margin g. Credit rating h. Items returned i. Reason for return 3. Quarterly sales report a. Total dollar and unit sales by: Customer Geographic segment Customer segment Sales territory Product Sales report Product segment b. Total sales against planned objective c. Total sales against budget d. Total sales against prior periods e. Actual sales percentage increase/decrease f. Contribution trends 4. Sales activity reports a. Classification of customer account i. e. Mega, Large, Medium and Small b. Available dollar sales potential c.
Current sales penetration d. Existing bids/contracts by customer location product Q) What is a computerized Data Base? COMPUTERIZED DATA BASE A database is simply a collection of related information. More specifically a computerized database is a computerized record keeping system. More completely, it is a system involving data, the hardware that physically stores that data, the software that utilizes the hardware’s file system in order to 1) store the data and 2) provide a standardized method for retrieving or changing the data, and finally, the users who turn the data into information.
For many companies, a computerized database containing information about customers and prospects has become an essential marketing tool. Creating an internal marketing secondary database built upon sales results and customer preferences can be a powerful marketing tool. Databases dealing with published information usually found in libraries, such as books, articles and other types of documents, are commonly called bibliographic databases. Computerized databases published secondary data, the Internet, and internal databases are important parts of an organization’s information system.
Intelligent decision making is always predicated on having good information. • When a person uses an automated teller machine to withdraw money from the bank account, he/she is using a computerized database. • When a travel agent makes an airline reservation for the customers, he/she is using a computerized database. • When a telephone operator gives the customer a phone number, he/she is using a computerized database. Any significant collections of information stored on computers are virtually always organized as databases and are known as computerized data base. Computerized Database
On-line vendors – purchase (rent) databases from a number of suppliers and sell to the subscribers (e. g. services provided by America Online, DIALOG). ON-LINE DATABASES Provide http: easy and direct access to public information through a computer. There are about 7,000 databases on a variety of topics that one can use. Q) Describe a specialized online data base of marketing manager? An online database which can be used by a marketing manager for Substantial Cost Savings, for Increasing the understanding of the Decision Environment, Upgrading the Decision-Making Effectiveness, Improving the Information Value.
This may include: • Internet – World-wide telecommunications network that allows computers to access data, files, pictures and sound throughout the world. • World Wide Web – Component of the Internet designed to make transmission of text and images very easy. • Uniform Reference Locator (URL) – Internet address that identifies a specific location. – A typical Web address looks like the following: http://www. microsoft. com • Search Engines – Internet search directories to aid in locating topics of interest and URLs. – An example is Yahoo at http://www. yahoo. com On-line Databases Consist of:
Internet, Direct from Vendors, Direct from Producer, Indirect through Networks Organizations Must Create a Database Management System. Managers must be trained on How to Retrieve Information and How to Manipulate the Data Using Database Management Software. A marketing manager can use a specialized data base to fulfill his/her tasks effectively and efficiently through: • Internet • Website • Emails • Online Subscriptions • Online queries • Online Feed back • Newsgroups on the Internet • Internet sites devoted to a specific topic where people can read and post messages. • Databases on CD ROM A number of companies offer database packages on CD ROM for personal computers that is very useful for manager in decision making and other tasks. • Geographic Information Systems • Computer-based system that uses secondary and/or primary data to generate maps that visually display answers to research questions. • Decision Support System – Through Online Data Base an interactive, personalized MIS, designed to be initiated and controlled by individual decision makers. – Managers use decision support systems to conduct sales analyses, forecast sales, evaluate advertising, analyze product lines, and keep tabs n market trends and competitor analysis. Creating Databases from a Web Site -A Marketing Manager’s Dream – Customer’s link to an online store is a two-way electronic link – Allows online merchant to gather information about the customer – Text file place on a user’s computer in order to identify the user when there is a return visit to the Web site. – Helping Managers in creation of a large computerized file of customers’ and potential customers’ profiles and purchase patterns. – It is the fastest-growing use of internal database technology.
A manager has to build company’s online Pages on Search Engines. Working online to find out target audiences and provide them information through Internet services performing internet marketing services that are mention above. The services are designed to help the company’s website increase its. Through this Online Database a marketing Manager is able to get, Demographic Dimensions Population growth: actual and projected Population density In-migration and out-migration patterns Population trends by age, race, and ethnic background Employment Characteristics Labor force growth Unemployment levels
Percentage of employment by occupation categories Employment by industry Economic Characteristics Personal income levels (per capita and median) Type of manufacturing/service firms Total housing starts Building permits issued Sales tax rates Competitive Characteristics Levels of retail and wholesale sales Number and types of competing retailers Availability of financial institutions International Market Characteristics Transportation and exporting requirements Trade barriers Business philosophies Legal system Social customs Political climate Cultural patterns Religious and moral backgrounds
Common Government Documents Used as Secondary Data Sources Statistics of Income Survey of Current Business Through a specialized Online Data Base a marketing manager able to get up-to-date information. A marketing Manager able to, • Evaluate sales territory. • PLC • Identify most profitable and least profitable customers. • Identify most profitable market segments and target efforts with greater efficiency and effectiveness. • Aim marketing efforts to those products, services, and segments that require the most support. • Increase revenue through repackaging and re-pricing products for various market segments. Evaluate opportunities for offering new products or services. • Identify products or services that are best-sellers or most profitable. • Evaluate existing marketing programs. • Database Technologies • Database technologies continue to evolve. For example, Fingerhut, a database firm, uses a Sun Microsystems parallel computer, whereas American Express relies on Thinking Machines Corporation’s supercomputers. • Renting Internal Databases • Some companies rent their internal databases to obtain extra income, although this can lead to ethical questions. [pic]

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