Secondary Sources of Information

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Marketing information must be timely, organised, useful and in a simple form if it is to ease decision making. It should also be easily manipulated to satisfy the changing and ad hoc requirements of management for information. There is more to marketing information than marketing research. Indeed, marketing research is a subsystem of the marketing information system. A Marketing Information System (MIS) is a structure within an organisation designed to gather, process and store data from the organisation 's external and internal environment and to disseminate this in the form of information to the organisation 's marketing decision makers. The activities performed by an MIS and its subsystems include information discovery, collection,…show more content…
The assembly and analysis of secondary data almost invariably improves the researcher 's understanding of the marketing problem, the various lines of inquiry that could or should be followed and the alternative courses of action which might be pursued.
• Secondary sources help define the population. Secondary data can be extremely useful both in defining the population and in structuring the sample to be taken. For instance, government statistics on a country 's agriculture will help decide how to stratify a sample and, once sample estimates have been calculated, these can be used to project those estimates to the population.
The problems of secondary sources
Whilst the benefits of secondary sources are considerable, their shortcomings have to be acknowledged. There is a need to evaluate the quality of both the source of the data and the data itself. The main problems may be categorised as follows:
Definitions The researcher has to be careful, when making use of secondary data, of the definitions used by those responsible for its preparation. Suppose, for example, researchers are interested in rural communities and their average family size. If published statistics are consulted then a check must be done on how terms such as "family size" have been defined. They may refer only to the nucleus family

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