What is the advantage of desk research?
Paul Stallard - Tuesday May 28th 2019
Desk research falls under the same category as (and in many ways is a synonymic term for) secondary research. This means that you are looking at statistics and figures that are already publicly available and analysing them. Not only does this provide you with a broad understanding of the field, but it also prevents you from tripping over yourself in an attempt to try something new that has already been covered. This can be useful as it gives you a foundation for what you are doing but it also means that you are not wasting time and resources reinventing the wheel.
It is always important to enter a project by planning and preparing for your findings, and desk research is a key way to get one step ahead. Not only do you not want to waste your participants time in making them complete surveys related to current research, but it is also far most cost-effective to use current projects for influence and guidance.
Desk research is usually conducted with a strong PR focus, as if you are looking to use the research for a press release or viewpoint, it will be far more effective if your research is new and never-before seen. You can also diagnose what has worked in the media before and tailor your survey to provide something unique that generates new interest and engagement.