With a diverse client base including law firms, media companies and corporations across many industries and markets, we are asked to find everything from the sublime to the ridiculous. And we do mean everything, from identifying all the law firms in the United States that are more than a century old to uncovering a popular young actor’s favorite breakfast cereal. The only commonality between these two disparate requests is that both involved secondary research, which involves finding reliable data that was researched for other purposes or information that already exists. LibSource excels at secondary research on any topic you can throw our way, no questions asked and confidentiality protected.
Research requests for people
We are often asked to find specific people, or certain types of people, or hard-to-find information about people. From one of our researchers:
“I had to locate a mural artist named BumblebeeLovesYou….and trying to locate eight women who were ‘Rosie the Riveters’ during World War II took several of us in a variety of directions.”
Research requests for statistics
Economic data, demographics, geographical features, historical dates – we uncover the cold, hard facts on any number of topics. Familiarity with specialized databases, public records and reference materials allows us to work quickly and efficiently with statistical data.
Research requests for supporting information
Many secondary research projects involve the pursuit of information that can help provide context and greater understanding to any subject. When working with media clients, we often dig for background information related to news stories, to help them add depth or a unique angle to their coverage. With law firms, we may provide litigation support or identify possible expert witnesses.
The need to add context for greater understanding is an important secondary research objective. The hard, cold facts contained within statistical data don’t resonate with most people and are often difficult to comprehend. Good secondary research can help enlighten any audience, sophisticated or not.
“For one research request regarding the temperature of molten lava, we were asked to find a way to communicate the significance of a temperature of about 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. We discovered that the melting point of copper is approximately the same, and the Statue of Liberty is sheathed in copper, resulting in a memorable picture that could help anyone ‘get’ how hot 2000 degrees is: One of our most famous national treasures, melting!”
Market research from secondary data
While a great deal of market research is devoted to primary sourcing, secondary market research adds another important level of understanding. Our clients gain greater insights for strategic marketing decisions like exploring new markets, developing new products or identifying niche markets for existing products.
Identifying and understanding key competitors has become a necessity for organizations of all sizes and in all industries, including those like law or medicine which were once sheltered from competitive pressures.
What happens if we can’t find the answer?
It does happen sometimes that we can’t provide a definitive answer to a specific question, yet we never leave a client hanging. From another researcher:
“If we can’t find the answer to the question they asked, we offer to give them something else they can use. So it becomes, ‘We can’t find XYZ, but how about this?’and that provides another possible direction for them to take.”
Finally, our quest for information does sometimes lead us to the primary source:
“We were asked to find a particular report put out by the Bank of Netherlands that had been superseded by a new report. We could not find the former version, but we did locate the authors and emailed our request to them, which allowed us to deliver the information to our client.”
Secondary external data sources are a treasure trove of useful information that can lead your organization to valuable insights, especially when skilled researchers like the professional librarians who work for LAC Group are doing the digging.
Contact us to discuss your needs for research assistance. No request is too big, small, mundane or bizarre!