Desk research is a common and popular method of collecting secondary data from internal and external sources. It is called Desk Research because the information is readily available at the desk or table of the researcher and there is no need to crate data. Desk research is the first step in the data collection process. It is a natural and logical choice of all researchers as the data are secured easily and at low cost. Desk research is used to identify business opportunities, develop alternatives and make hypothesis. The data collected from desk research is mostly published data (outside the firm) and generated inside the firm. Such data are known as secondary data.
Advantages of Desk Research
- Economical: It is the most economical method of conducting research. This is because the information is readily available and the researcher has to go to library and just collect it.
- Time Saving: Desk research saves time and resources. There is no need to create data, so research can be commenced and completed in stipulated time limit.
- Reliable and Valid: The data collected is more reliable and less biased.
- Suitability: Desk research is suitable and convenient to small and big, profit and non-profit making organisation. It dose not require the services of professionals of skilled personnel.
- Problem Definition: Desk research helps to understand the problem in better way and assist in deciding primary data needs.
Disadvantages of Desk Research
- Secondary data are not available in ready form to use. It needs modification and evaluation before its use.
- Data collected is subject to reliability and relevancy.
- This method is not useful to collect qualitative data like consumer behaviour, attitude, preference etc.