Desk Research

Secondary research

We apply the method of desk research as a specific form of market analytics if we provide either rapid initial analyzes for our clients or as a preparation / pathfinder for subsequent primary research in market analytics (e.g., ICCBA via CPA).

Definition Desk Research:

  • Desk Research is the English term for secondary research or secondary assessment.

Desk Research refers to the acquisition of information from already existing data material: this may be data that is already available to the customer or data already collected by third parties.


  • The collection, analysis and evaluation of existing data is (much) cheaper than a primary survey.
  • By means of secondary research, being provided significantly faster than results from primary surveys.
  • Some data cannot be obtained through primary surveys. Especially in the case of extensive information needs, secondary research is the only economic way of dealing with the question (for example, macroeconomic data).
  • Even if a primary assessment proves to be necessary or appropriate for the existing question, secondary research offers an economic possibility for the integration into the subject field and for the preparation of the latter / following primary survey.

Application fields:

  • Desk Research is particularly suitable if there is a valid pre-documentation for the market to be examined, that is, A large amount of evaluable data is accessible from numerous sources.
  • Depending on the market size and density, secondary analysis is a relatively cost-effective way to quickly and efficiently obtain a comprehensive analysis of the market to be examined.

Sources for Desk Research:

Useful information channels are e.g. databases, branch services, relevant specialist magazines, contributions to the new media (such as Internet portals) and primary surveys already carried out:

  • Internal data sources: sales, turnover and contribution margins.
  • Sales by products / customers, / business areas, etc.
  • Customers by type / territory / distribution channel, etc.
  • External sales force(s) reports

External data sources:

  • Federal Offices of Statistics
  • Industrial and commercial chambers as well as craft chambers
  • German foreign trade craft chambers
  • German Institute for Economic Research
  • Institute for World Economy
  • German Bundesbank
  • Universities
  • etc.