Secondary Research & Competitive Intelligence
Secondary Research is the most common research method employed in the industry today. It involves processing data that has already been
collected by another party. With this form, researchers will consult previous studies and findings such as reports, press articles
and previous market research projects in order to come to a conclusion. The relatively low expense in comparison to primary research
is the main advantage of this research as no new research needs to be commissioned. However, its main disadvantage is that the data
used in the analysis may be out-dated and therefore return inaccurate results.
Secondary research is defined as an analysis and interpretation of primary research. The method of writing secondary research is to collect primary research that is relevant to a writing topic and interpret what the primary research found. For instance, secondary research often takes the form of the results from two or more primary research articles and explains what the two separate findings are telling us. Or, the author may have a specific topic to write about and will find many pieces of primary research and use them as information in their next article or textbook chapter.
Secondary Research can happen at any stage of the creative process. Each Secondary Research process involves 4 steps that can be repeated as necessary
Identifying the subject domain and where to acquire the information;
Gathering existing data;
Comparing data from different sources, if necessary and if feasible; and
Analyzing the data
This technique is performed in order to
Assess easy, low-cost and quick knowledge;
Clarify the research question;
Help align the focus of primary research in a larger scale and can also help to identify the answer; and
Rule out potentially irrelevant project proposals (ex. The proposed work may have already been carried out).