Every industry has a short list of quality sources for research data. If you’re lucky, some of these sources also have a long history and deep expertise in the subject. And, if you’ve hit the jackpot, you’ll find sources that offer all this at an affordable price.
One trusted source that I turn to often while working on a technology research project or business case is the Pew Research Center. In fact, it’s amazing to look back and see how much Pew’s coverage of technology and telecom research has expanded since they published their first report tracking consumer online activities.
Many thanks to the Pew Charitable Trust and Pew researchers for funding and sharing technology research over the past 10+ years! Here are five reasons I’m especially thankful for Pew’s research efforts.
When you need to develop or fine tune business case assumptions.
Pew provides an extensive library of data and reports to explore whenever you need a trustworthy source to build business case assumptions or develop hypotheses for new research. Over the years, I’ve referred many clients and colleagues to the site as a starting point to explore consumer trends and insights. The Pew Internet & American Life Project tracks attitudes and use of the internet for all kinds of activities, dating back to the first report in 2000. Pew does a great job of trending the data over time and by demographics to compare and contrast differences.
When you want to expand your knowledge of Millennials.
Pew created a multi-phase ongoing research project to better understand the youngest generation of adults, Millennials (born ~1980 to ~2000). The research provides insight on the Millennial generation and also how they differ from other generations. A great place to start is to take the quiz to find out how Millennial you are.
When you’d like to understand how behaviors are changing across generations.
Pew has extensive research that explores how generations differ when it comes to adopting and using new technologies. They also track over time how attitudes and behaviors are changing. The latest Generations report released in December highlights which generations have narrowed the gap on some online activities.
When you want to move beyond the media hype to understand mobile behaviors.
Pew continues to expand their coverage on mobile devices and activities to track and understand how consumers are using the internet while on the go. They take a pragmatic and fact-based look at how consumers are using social networking, location based services and apps on their mobile devices.
Quality data and tools at no cost to you.
Pew provides complete transparency into the details of their study designs and offers a database of all the questions that were asked. This makes it easier to compare results across studies, fine tune assumptions for your business case or plan new research that builds on Pew’s research data. They also provide access to all the data files in the form of cross tabs or SPSS data files for further analysis. And, if you are just looking to add a chart to a presentation, they have extensive trend data available to download as ready to use charts or data excel files.
Image: © iStockphoto.com/Entienou