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How do primary and secondary research differ in market analysis?

Primary research in market analysis involves collecting new data, while secondary research uses already existing data.

Primary research, also known as field research, is a method of collecting data that does not already exist. This can be through numerous forms, including surveys, interviews, and direct observations. For instance, a company might conduct primary research to understand customer preferences, buying habits, or market trends. This type of research is often tailored to the company's specific needs and provides unique insights that are not available through secondary research. However, primary research can be time-consuming and costly to conduct, especially for small businesses or start-ups.

On the other hand, secondary research, also known as desk research, involves the summary, collation and/or synthesis of existing research rather than primary research. In other words, secondary research uses data that's already available and involves the use of existing resources like market reports, academic studies, and government databases. This type of research is often used to gain a broad understanding of the market or to identify potential areas for further investigation. Secondary research is typically less expensive and quicker to conduct than primary research, but it may not provide as detailed or specific information as primary research.

In market analysis, both primary and secondary research have their roles and can complement each other. Primary research can provide detailed, specific information about a market, while secondary research can provide a broader understanding of the market context. The choice between primary and secondary research often depends on the specific needs of the business, the resources available, and the nature of the market being analysed.

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