What are the sources of information
Primary and secondary information sources
Do you know that? You want to search for information on a topic, but you can't think of much besides Google. This article gives you a structured overview of the general sources of information and should therefore serve as a suggestion for your specific question.
Information sources can be categorized as primary data and secondary data. The specific question determines which information source should be accessed, since primary and secondary data differ in terms of availability, costs, quality and reliability.
When selecting information sources, a distinction can be made between primary data and secondary data. The specific question determines which information source should be accessed, since primary and secondary data differ in terms of availability, costs, quality and reliability.
Information for the strategic analysis can be collected independently, one then speaks of primary data collection. For many questions, however, it is advisable to fall back on information that is already available, so-called secondary data. Secondary data has already been collected for similar or different purposes. They have the advantage of being available quickly and are often more cost-effective and of a quality that a separate analysis cannot achieve (due to the specialization of the providers and economies of scale due to the provision to several users). Often, however, this information is not up-to-date enough or suitable for the question in question. The reliability of the data is also not always easy to assess.
The following list gives an overview of the different types of information sources.
- Oral survey (including expert interview)
- Personal interview
- Standardized interview based on a structured questionnaire
- Free interview based on an interviewer guide
- Standardized interview
- Written survey (including Delphi study)
- Computer-aided survey
- Panel survey: multiple surveys of a constant group of examination units (e.g. consumer panel, retail panel, doctor panel)
- Field observation (observation in a familiar environment)
- In-house data sources
- Sales, sales and order statistics
- Field staff reports and customer service reports, customer correspondence
- External data sources
- Industry reports and statistics, company comparisons
- Processing of data from official and unofficial sources
- Information from scientific institutes
- Information from specialist and general literature
- Company publications including annual reports
- newspapers and magazines
- Information from sales assistants and advertising media
- Information from international organizations
- Statistical offices of the European Union and other supranational organizations
- External databases and studies
Authors: Achim Sztuka, Ralph Bernhard
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