The growth of the World Wide Web has been one of the major events in the second half of the 20th century. A big advantage of World Wide Web for businesses is the availability and quick access of information than ever before in the history of mankind. Businesses can access almost any kind of information from any corner of the globe just in few minutes that can aid decision-making. Information online has become a commodity available in many flavors.
Remarkably, there is an immense amount of information online that is not only accessible to all but can be created and shared by almost everybody. According to a claim by Google, there are around 8.1 billion documents online and are growing rapidly. A team of researchers from SIMS – University of California claims that the size of the information on the World Wide Web is 170 terabytes. Information of about 170 terabytes is equal to ten times of the information available in the Library of Congress. This new height of information availability and accessibility is influencing the dynamics of the global markets as well as regional businesses more or less equally.
Most of the data available online is in English as it is the most popular language online. More than 80% of home pages on the Web are in English, while the next greatest, German, has only 4.5% and Japanese 3.1%, according to englishenglish.com. Clearly, this means more information in English is available online than any other language.
The above statistics from various sources reiterates that the information available online is not only abundant but also growing rapidly at an exponential pace. This vast size of the information available never earlier in the history of mankind, sometimes becomes a challenge for the business researchers to find the reliable and credible information within it.
The major contributors of the information online that is useful for the businesses are Market Research companies, industry associations, related-industry web sites, competitor companies’ websites and government sources like www.bls.gov. Information from various sources from a variety of backgrounds can help online researchers to crosscheck and validate the data they are collecting for the research purpose. Information thus derived from the online secondary research is good enough to give insight into the research issue and help the businesses in well-informed decision making to the extent possible.
The increased efficiency of the information availability has significantly increased the level of information endowment on a variety of fields of marketing and business as a whole. The abundance of information available online that is instantly accessible at low or no cost has certainly created a great resource for secondary research for businesses.