Data for market research is gathered through both primary and secondary research.
- Primary data: is based on research that you conduct yourself using tools such as surveys, polls, focus groups, and interviews. Primary research is used to address a specific problem. While primary data can be more thorough and insightful, it is costly and time consuming to collect such data and conducting such research requires special skills.
- Secondary data: is based on research done by others, such as government agencies, market research firms, and trade associations. Examples of secondary sources include statistics and market research reports. These sources can save you a lot of time but as you have no control over how and what pieces of data were collected, they may not always be specific enough for your needs.
This guide focuses on secondary sources available at the MIT Libraries. It also identifies free websites with useful information. Use tabs on top to access relevant portions of this guide.