Many organizations make judgements, prepare plans and reach decisions with little or no contribution from formal marketing research. This chapter indicates ways in which organization of data readily available from sources within the firm can produce information of great practical relevance. The purpose of an internal information system is to produce a continuous stream of data which can:

■ measure current performance

■ identify the characteristics of current performance

■ establish a baseline for change

■ form a basis for comparison: over time, over an industry, etc.

■ suggest a basis for resource allocation: geographical, profitability, product, etc.

■ indicate trends

■ monitor and track performance

■ signal change

■ provide an early warning detection system

■ form a basis for operating control systems

■ highlight performance problem areas

■ provide information resources

■ indicate areas for further research.

The aims of an internal information system are to keep the organization informed about its own performance, to enable the organization to anticipate change in its own competitive and technological environment, and to provide a guideline to focus and monitor company effort.

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