If you are searching for secondary data, arguably you are more in control. However, over the years, data availability has increased dramatically making it harder to find the right information on the internet. Furthermore, it’s very unlikely that you will find the correct breakdown once you start uploading the data. To make matters worse, good data is rarely free. You can:
- Ask the client to send you some downloads, for example from DataStream
- Or provide you with their student access to myAthens.
Please bear in mind, that although DataStream is fantastic, students do not always know how to use it. Therefore, if you are asking them to get you the data, you must specify exactly what you need (range, dates, variables etc).
Be careful with Thomson’s data. Especially with their ratio analysis, as they are not accurate. In turn, if you are forced to use it, then specify this within your methodology and reference it everywhere.
You also need to be careful with American data. Although accurate, Americans tend to break it down into sectors that are not relevant for the British market. If your secondary research requires American data, then allow twice the amount of time to collect it as it can be complex.