This involves data that has already been collected by other organisations or companies. It is also called desk research. Secondary Research is the most commonly used method of research adopted by businesses. In this instance, for Sony PS3 to carry out this form of research, it must use some forms of findings like press article, reports from other surveys or research carried out and through studies.
This form of research is very cheap compared to primary research. Data obtained in this form of research is second hand data, which means that data has already been used by other businesses or organisations to get the best out of it. On the other hand, this form of data is used backup primary research data. This form of data can be useful, because it involve large amount of existing data, which the business can use to do comparison between data obtained and also used to correct or rectify errors on other forms of research.
Secondary data can be of great use to different forms of research. In terms of using the internet, it can be used to allocate data and on the other hand also used to save or store data. Secondary data can be obtained in large amounts from organisations, the media, government and data banks. This form of data can also be used in setting organisation cases in wider contexts.
Advantages of Secondary Research
* Secondary data can be easily located: secondary data is very important to organisations and businesses like the Sony PS3 company. This is because it can be used to compare primary data. Secondary data can be easily allocated because it is cheap to acquire. At most cases it is free to acquire secondary data through the media and other sources like the internet. For example if the Sony PS3 wants to achieve secondary data, it can get it through the internet or media free of charge, but in some cases it has to pay some amount of money to have access to the data. The data may be used to cover larger areas at a lower expense. It also allows larger scale studies on a small budget. The Sony PS3 acquiring this form research can cover them costs from different views.
* It does not exhaust people: this is because the data had already been collected. Secondary data can be of great importance to lazy individuals, because the data have already been collected. It can also be attained to when researchers are in a haste to get in touch with data. This is trying to show that secondary data is always available and can be used by organisations at any point in time needed. For example, if the Sony PS3 has to carry out research and is running out of time, it can just get in touch with secondary data to accomplish its task. By doing so, this will save time for the company and on the other hand, the cost of conducting the research.
* Unobtrusive: due to the data already been collected, it helps businesses like the Sony PS3 company who wants to make use of it through various numbers of points. In this sense, data already collected saves time for the company or organisation carrying out secondary research. On the other hand, it can be reliable because it has already been tested by other organisations and the results had been verified. In a broad sense, this shows that secondary data can be very effective, but the main problem with secondary data is wrong or quality information. For example, if Sony PS3 is carrying secondary research, it will save it time, cost of carrying out primary research.
* Quality and performance of data: secondary sources of data can gain more effective data than data obtained through primary research. At times, primary data can gain more accurate data where international agencies or governments researchers are of least intelligence. On the other hand, secondary data can gain far more accurate data than primary data, because governments, organisations or government agencies employ or hire the right individuals to carry out the research.
Disadvantages of Secondary Research
* Definitions; this is one of the main problems of carrying out secondary research. The Sony PS3 and any other business when carrying out this type of research should be aware of definitions or terms used by researchers. If the previous researchers don't know the full or correct meaning of the terms used, it will misinterpret the data, which will not be of good to the business. If previous researchers use wrong data to carry out its operations, it will be of great losses not only to the business but also to its competitors, because they also rely on each others resources at several points in time.
For example if the Sony PS3 company is conducting secondary research and has to come across terms that its researchers are not familiar with, they should try all their best to know the correct definitions of the words use, so as to make it easier for other third parties relying on the information. On the other hand, if the researchers has to come across terms that are placed in the wrong place, they will find it difficult to interpret data collected, which is time wasting and at a specific point unreliable.
* Measurement Errors: this form of errors id very common, mostly it arises as a result of alike numbers. This form of errors can mostly arise as a result of laziness or absent minded. This form of error can be a serious disaster when making use of data obtained. For example, the Sony PS3 company is conducting desk research on the number of individuals who has the console. If the researchers happen to use data from the media which has numerical errors and has not been spotted, and states that the number of individuals who has the console is 130,000 instead of 1,300,000. This type of error is very disastrous especially in analysing the data. Researchers should be aware of this type of mistakes and find effective solutions to solving the problem.
* Source Bias: researchers have to be aware of bias sources of data when conducting desk research. Many sources of secondary data are of specific purposes and may only be used for one or two purposes. This arises as a result of researchers been bias. This is also showing that many researchers conduct research for personal use or organisations at most cases publish bias data to satisfy government, businesses, stakeholders, customers, and other members of the public utilising the data obtained.
* Time Scale: this is an important factor for obtaining secondary data. This can be unreliable for businesses, because data obtained time ago are of less importance for researchers making use if it. For example Sony PS3 researchers, are conducting secondary research and happen to get in touch with data obtained 3 years ago. This data is of zero importance to the business because it is out dated. Another problem with this data is that, the point stated on it has already been taken care of. On the other hand, if this data is used by the business, it can cause serious harm to its activities and in terms of analysing the data obtained.
Uses of Secondary Data
* Issues: secondary research is normally carried out to start a project that will enable researchers to identify and address points that are lacking behind. For example, the Sony PS3 company carry out research on how the value of the product can be improved.
* Background: this is very essential for researchers, because it can be a great method of obtaining history or records for a marketing project. For example, the performance of the product or business, the profitability of the business. If these are accessed by the business, it will be able to have a clear statement of the product or business.
* Evidence: it is very vital because it provides statistical data and other supporting evidence in a form of a report. This normally consists of sales records. For example, the Sony PS3 using secondary research to show trends that are scheduled to take place, like growth of sales in is products and accessories.
* Marketing Mix: this is very vital for carrying out marketing mix, because it can be used to produce and inform evidence for the marketing mix process. This might help to influence the type of produce, like using information obtained in journals which consists of innovation techniques to be applied in technology. It can also be used to influence sales through promotional activities like advertising. Another vital point of this is, it can be used to set the price level of products produced by the Sony PS3 company.
Types of Secondary Data to Be Applied-Internal Data:
* Internal business data: this can be reliable for the business to adopt, because it involves the business going back to its records to check sales figures over a given period of time. This can be done at most cases by going into the company's trading profit and loss account. This records are been recorded by member of staff of the business. These results are first accessed by senior management, later stored and analysed by the business and used for future planning.
* Accounts and Financial Reports: this mainly consists of sales amounts and the amount of money gained from the sales of the products i.e. profits/revenue. This is normally carried out by the sales department, which have its own staff. Other parts of the financial reports might include other income from customers, payments to suppliers, the cost of employing staff and other running costs. The Sony PS3 company uses ICT as a technological resource to analyse and present financial reports in various numbers of ways. This is done to satisfy researchers. This information obtained can sometimes be found in company annual reports.
* Customer data: this involves variety of financial data which consists of sales and delivery made to customers; it also shows the buying habits of customers. This form of data will come directly in the form of internal sales records. Information on customers is mainly collected through primary research or sales payments through credit or debit cards.
* Reports: over time, the Sony PS3 creates a collection based on surveys and other reports that were prepared and used for previous research programmes and projects. This form of data can be very vital for obtaining secondary data internally. This provides records against where to measure new projects and future development.