Online desk research involves systematic identification, collection, analysis and documentation of data in order to assist the businesses to identify and solve the problems in decision making. Online desk research can provide precise market information with statistics in a cost and time effective manner.
Online secondary research gathers data that already exists in the Internet from reliable sources. Some of these sources include internal sources of the business, government publications, websites of non-profit organizations such as industry bodies, freely accessible data on the Internet, some professional newspapers and magazines, and annual reports of companies filed with SEC. Though it looks all is fine, there are some limitations of online desk research.
Search engines return thousands of links when searched for any data. Along with valid results, a considerable percentage of the data found in the web pages is outdated. Data published on Internet can become outdated very quickly due to the pace of change within in industry. Most of the information will be outdated and useless in no time. The data collected through secondary research may not exactly tell current happenings but can be effectively used in time-series analysis i.e. to identify historical patterns and trend cycles to forecast the future developments.
Limited Useful Data:
One can spend hours searching for specific details as useful data on Internet is limited. Sometimes publishers are reluctant to give away the complete details freely online, so data availability is generally restricted and incomplete. In some occasions, all the required data may not be available from the same or one source. Data has to be carefully searched, identified and arranged to get the complete picture. Any missing piece of data has to be replaced with similar data from other qualified sources.
The overall quality of the Market Research is directly related to the accuracy of information sources used to collect data. There are many websites and blogs that provide information on the Internet, but a market researcher cannot consider them as reliable information sources as they generally provide incorrect information. A researcher first identifies reliable sources related to the topic, then analyzes and crosschecks the same data from various sources to validate its accuracy.
Though the information available on Internet is free of cost, it requires lot of effort, patience, extreme care and skill to dig out useful information. To overcome these limitations, the professional Internet Market researchers use various Internet tools and search engine techniques that enable to find the qualified data and utilize it for research.