Secondary data is readily available research that was not developed at the request of or for one specific client.
Pharmaceutical companies often purchase data from databases, or sectoral analyses, which can be rich sources of information and meet the specific research needs of a project. Data collected by sales teams and projects conducted by medical teams can also be useful and meet some needs. These data are often underexploited as they require appropriate indexing and archiving as well as easy access to be utilized.
There are also the websites of health ministries, such as the WHO, professional organizations, patient associations, and even publications or doctoral theses to be considered as sources of information.
Secondary data can also be accessed in the form of “syndicated” or “multi-client” research, often focusing on a specific therapeutic area.
Syndicated or multi-client research is designed and developed by a market research company who retains ownership of the data. Multiple stakeholders purchase access to the data from relevant markets. Depending on the design of the study, the syndicated research may suffice to inform the sales strategy or constitute the first level of analysis, thus allowing further research to focus on a more specific problem or area.
Although syndicated research often has the advantage of being immediately available at a generally lower cost, it is important to ask the following questions:
How old is the data? Is it still relevant?
If necessary, are subsequent waves planned? How frequently (from a monitoring perspective)?
Is the data reliable? What collection biases could affect its quality?
Is the data sufficiently accurate and relevant to my product?
Do the data collected completely or partially answer the question asked?
Syndicated studies can fulfill the needs of all, or part of, a research project. They can also help to consolidate more specific primary data.
Primary or ad hoc research is customized to meet the needs of a specific client. The pharmaceutical or med-tech company is the sole owner of the collected data and resulting analyses.
Unlike syndicated research, ad hoc offers healthcare companies a tailored approach and the possibility to conduct studies on niche areas. With bespoke research, a business can look at information such as possible product compositions and improvements to find out if it is possible to increase the sales for said brand. This level of detail can usually only be acquired through ad hoc research.
Within tailored research services, it is possible to regulate the specifications for a project and make sure that all analyses and information fit the specific requirements of the company. This type of research can help reveal more information about the key players in your industry amongst other insights.
Some additional ad hoc study projects can include market analysis, segmentation analysis, competitive analysis, economic impact analysis, industry benchmarking and partner exploration to name a few. The possibilities for primary data are unlimited and can collect quantitative and qualitative data for diverse topics. Unlike syndicated research, ad hoc research will be uniquely designed for each client.
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For a full overview of AplusA’s range of syndicated studies, click here.