If you’re launching a new product, revamping your recruitment process, or planning a new ad campaign, any good agency will tell you: first, do your research.

Launching a new strategy without doing your research is like setting sail in new waters without a map–costly, lengthy, and probably pointless. You may discover some new areas along the way, but most likely you’ll end up frustrated and far from your goal. However, research can be expensive in both cost and time. How can you get the insights you need without breaking your budget? 

The information you seek is potentially out there–and it may also be free. There are lots of data and reports available, you just have to dig. Here are 10 credible, valuable sites to get you started. Many of these are free resources or offer a no-cost abridged version of more detailed reports that you have to pay for. 

  1. The U.S. Census data is readily available, giving you demographic and economic information that can help you better understand your market. The data breakdown tools on the site are easy to use.

  2. The U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics has lots of information on employment, productivity, pay, workplace injuries–really any stats the government collects on labor are available to the public, with handy data tools and reports to help you break it down.

  3. Glassdoor is an excellent resource for competitor information, employee feedback, industry salaries, and more. They also produce reports and studies.

  4. Statista offers reports on just about anything business for purchase, but also provides useful “highlights” for free. 

  5. Pew Research is a nonpartisan think tank that has hundreds of topics with thorough, timely, and digestible studies and reports. 

  6. RAND Corporation, like Pew, is a nonpartisan resource that offers thousands of reports on hundreds of topics. 

  7. Gartner is a personal favorite. Specifically for business and economics studies, Gartner's industry and sales reports are particularly useful for planning. 

  8. McKinsey is another great resource for industry reports. 

  9. Gallup offers insights on workplace and education–particularly useful for higher education and recruitment studies.

  10. Google Trends can run reports on search terms and topics to gauge interest and popularity. You’ll also find topical reports, like “Holiday Shopping Trends 2021."  

As someone who has sifted through site after site, I can tell you that the answers to many of your questions are out there–but we understand even secondary research can be time-consuming. If you are looking for someone to take the reins, LMD can help.

Account Manager & Content Specialist
As Content Specialist, Morgan supports LMD's accounts with her research, writing, and organizational planning skills. Her writing experience extends to editorial, social media, and thought leadership planning and training. Morgan...Read more