It is a group of methods aimed at secondary information sources, that is study, collection and systematization of secondary information: statistic data, documents, mass media and web site publications.
Desk research is processing of the existing secondary information. The secondary information is the data that has been collected before for the purposes distinct from the actual problem. The information sources are mass media including specialized ones, web sites (data portals, competing companies’ sites etc.), business reference books, data of the State Committee of Statistics, results of marketing and sociological researches conducted earlier, the company inner documentation.
The advantages of desktop research consists in low cost of works, quick collection of materials, diversity and independence of information sources which enable to have a comprehensive preliminary analysis of the problem.
The main disadvantage of desk research is dissimilarity of the materials which do not in every case serve the purposes of the certain research due to their general character, obsolescence, difference in methods of data collection.
Desk research may achieve the following tasks: analysis of the enterprise potential, analysis of competitors, analysis of micro and macro environment of the company. It allows to define the main prospects of the market development, assess its capacity and define at the initial phase the line of further research.