Using secondary data in exploratory research

Exploratory research provides a broad understanding of an industry, a service or an area in which a firm wants to expand its limited knowledge. Three steps are involved:

1 spelling out information needs

2 looking for promising leads by title or apparent content

3 getting hold of promising published material.

One often has to choose between print format and computer format when choosing how to capture the data. Although readily available print sources are usually inexpensive, checking out print sources takes considerable time. Use of online sources, by comparison, is much quicker and can often provide information that is more pertinent. However, it costs money to obtain data in this way and the novice or even the person with computer experience is likely to need some expert assistance.

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