Information library

When an organization is starting to develop a research facility, it makes sense to ensure that the research undertaken is classified and stored in such a way that it is usable and utilized on future occasions. Reading past research studies can be extremely helpful in indicating ways in which the same problem may be approached again. If it is appropriate to update the piece of research then the earlier work will serve as a benchmark, indicating change. If an earlier piece of research used a method that did not work very well, then the same mistakes can be avoided. There is usually something to learn about where the product is now in the marketplace from an analysis of how it got there.

Sometimes, new executives in the organization will come up with ideas that have been tried before. Although there may be good reasons for believing that something that did not work on some occasion in the past may or may not work now, it is nevertheless of value for the new executive to know when something has been tried before and what the circumstances and outcomes were. With the fairly rapid turnover of both marketing and market research executives, it is useful to have a retrieval system operating so that when a manager intends to carry out some research in a particular area there is ready access to any previous work done. It is still common practice in organizations that copies of research reports are kept only by the managers who have commissioned them and are not readily accessible by, or made available to, other members of the same organization. The establishment of an information library will rectify this. All information can now be computer based, with new information scanned into the company's information database. This can be made accessible to a remote sales force or marketing agents through the company's intranet or extranet.

Another important function for the information library will be to acquire, store and retrieve external desk research information, and this is discussed in Chapter 4.

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