Causal research also proceeds from a pre-established structure but attempts to infer causal relationships between variables as opposed to describing variables, for example, determining if increased advertising spending has led to an increase in sales. Discuss the nature of secondary data. Begin by defining secondary data as data, which have already been collected for purposes other than the problem at hand. The data are often found internally and also externally from published materials, computerized databases, or from syndicated services. Finally, note that secondary data are characterized as easily available and relatively inexpensive to obtain. Note that secondary data can cover a broad range of factors that affect the problem at hand. It does not always fit the specific problem at hand, but can be useful in developing an approach to the problem and providing a comprehensive understanding of the problem environment. Begin the class by having students suggest sources of secondary data with which they are familiar and keep a list on the board. Then proceed to discuss the sources outlined in the text and see how many sources they overlooked Identify the Advantages of secondary data. Secondary data can help you: 1. Identify the problem. 2. Better define the problem. 3. Develop an approach to the problem. 4. Formulate an appropriate research design (for example, by identifying the key variables). 5. Answer certain research questions and test some hypotheses. 6. Interpret primary data more insightfully. Examination of available secondary data is a prerequisite to the collection of primary data. Proceed to primary data only when the secondary data sources have been exhausted or yield marginal returns. Identify the disadvantages of Secondary data. Because secondary data have been collected for purposes other than the problem at hand, their usefulness to the current problem may be limited in several important ways, including relevance and accuracy. The objectives, nature, and methods used to collect the secondary data may not be appropriate to the present situation.
Secondary data may be lacking in accuracy, or they may not be completely current or dependable. List the various internal sources of secondary data and explain their benefits to the researcher. Begin by noting that internal sources can supply some of the most vital data for research. The information generated by the corporation’s daily business operations can represent a wealth of data useful to the researcher and should be the starting point of a project. It offers the advantages of being proprietary to the company and is available at a low cost relative to outside suppliers. As an example, discuss sales data. Sales data are valuable information for any marketing project because they show the exact results of a program, salesperson, or sales region. Actual costs allow the researcher to estimate costs for a research study or project costs for a marketing program. Detailed information can be gathered on precise questions, for example, the percentage of sales to industry verses government or sales broken out by company accounts.
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- Fall '16
- researcher, secondary data, marketing research problem