Sources of Data and Information

Sources of Data

Data can be collected from two sources that are internal and external sources. The data collected from internal sources are called primary data whereas the data collected from external sources are called secondary data. The sources of data are shown clearly by the following figure.
Sources of Data

A. Sources of Primary Data

The data collected for the first time are called primary data. The methods mostly used in collecting primary data are survey, observation and experiment. Generally, all these methods are not used in a same project, because they have both good and bad aspects. The question which method should be selected depends on the nature, time and cost. Or method should be selected according to the nature, time and cost.
  1. Survey: Collecting data through interviews of the people is called survey method. Data can collected through the means of individuals, telephones, mails etc.
    1. Persons/individuals: Data can be collected by taking interviews from the different person/individuals. This method is more flexible than the telephone and mail interview. During the interview time, if the person being interviewed gives incomplete answer, it can be made clear asking repeatedly to complete the answer.
    2. Telephone: Survey can be done through telephone. As different personalities can be contacted through telephone anywhere from center, this medium saves cost and time. This medium is quicker than others for prompt survey.
    3. Mail: Data can be collected through mail. In this method, questionnaire is sent to potential respondents. They also send the answers back through mail. This medium is less expensive than the personal interview and becomes more useful for national survey.
  2. Observation: Collecting data by observing activities of persons is called observation method. Observation may be personal or mechanical. Complete and accurate data can be collected through observation method.
    1. Personal observation: This method is more useful to collect data about sellers’ performance and their priority given to the brand.
    2. Mechanical observation: Mechanical observation can be done in various forms. For instance, scanner can be used in retail stores for keeping purchase record. Similarly, camera can be used to keep person’s reaction in video form.
  3. Experimental method: Primary data can be collected through experimental method. Experimental works are done in lab and field for collection of primary data.
    1. Laboratory experiment: The testing or trying out in lab is called laboratory experiment. Laboratory is used to taste/examine the components of marketing strategy.
    2. Field experiment: The other method used to understand the consumers’ reaction is field experiment. This is also like a laboratory, but it is done remaining in real situation. Test marketing is a field experiment.

B. Sources of Secondary Data

The data used once are called secondary data. It becomes much easier to collect secondary data than the primary ones. Secondary data can be collected from several sources. The main sources are as follows:
  1. Library: Library is the best source for collection of secondary data. All kinds of books, all publications, research oriented deeds, researched publications, useful materials, magazines, newspapers, official publication etc. can be found in libraries. Secondary data can be easily collected from such sources. Central Library, Keshar Library, British Council, American Library etc. are the major libraries of Nepal.
  2. Government: Government publications are also the important sources for collection of secondary data. The business organizations should compulsorily submit their annual reports of income-statement, balance sheet, cash flow statement etc. to the government bodies. Such reports and statements are also the sources of secondary data. Besides, different governmental bodies update and publish government tax record, birth registration, house sale or purchase, marriage registration, registration of domestic animals, social classes, per capita income etc. So, such government publications are also the important sources for data collection.
  3. Trade, professional and business associations: Trade, professional and business associations also give information about their activities through different kinds of publications. Some business organizations have their own library. For example; American Marketing Association has its own library containing more than four thousand books. The publications of SAFTA, WTO etc. organizations may be very useful for international marketing experts.
  4. Private business firm: Private business firms collect important data. For example, R. L. Polk and Donnelley Marketing publish city and telephone directory. They cover almost the addresses, phone no. estimated income, purchasing habit etc. in them of almost every American. Such data become very useful for the marketing experts.
  5. Advertising media: Magazines, newspapers, radios and televisions prepare useful data for householders and business organizations. For example, Sales and Marketing Management Magazine publishes ‘Survey of Buying Power’ each year. This report gives information about population, retail sale, income etc.
  6. University research organization: Research Organizations are formed in big universities. Such organizations carry out local, national and international level researches and publish. Nepal’s Tribhuvan University also has research organizations such as CERID, CINAS, CEDA etc. These organizations conduct researches on different subjects. Michigan University of America conducts regular national researches on ‘Consumers Buying Intention’.

Sources of Information

Refined and cleansed data is called information. This information becomes useful. Information can be collected from several sources. The main sources are as follows:

1) Marketing research system

The orderly researches conducted in order to solve market related problems are called marketing research system. While carrying out researches on marketing, a deep study and analysis using different methods is done about goods, price, place, distribution, promotion, consumers, sale, competition etc. Such researches and studies are very important sources of information.

2) Marketing intelligence system

The mechanism of collecting information every day about marketing environment is called marketing intelligence system. It collects changes occurred daily in marketing environment and gives information. Sellers, intermediaries, marketing information center, experts or specialists, private agencies etc. are the formal sources of marketing intelligence system whereas magazines, newspapers, trade journals, talks with customers, talks with managers and employees etc. are the informal sources of marketing intelligence system.

3) Internal record system

The records kept by business organizations to systematize different internal activities are called internal records system. Internal record is an important and easily available source of information. Customer related record, sales related record, annual reports etc. are the main internal records.

4) Marketing Decision Support System (MDSS)

A decision support system is a procedures that allows a manager to interact with data and methods together, analyze, and interpret information. Data bank, method bank and model bank are the components of decision support system.

No comments:

Post a Comment