Running an in-house system

Date of publication: September 1, 1981

Author: Rita M. Sully

Abstract:

The changes in computer technology have inevitably affected the ease with which the traditional marketing research data - IMS audits - can be manipulated in response to marketing enquiries. This in particular gave the marketing research departments' at The Wellcome Foundation Ltd., the opportunity to assess the many other data sources, mainly in textual forms, in terms of the valuable information they offer on the pharmaceutical industry and it's changing environment. To maximise the use of these other types of information, the decision was made to store the material in an abridged form on a computer, with the ability to access the data- base on-line using a free text retrieval system. In practice this offered the ability to search the stored text on any word, phrase or reference and to view the resulting abstracts on a VDU screen subsequent to printing the relevant sections. The planning of the information system involved consideration of the company's interests, the information available, the software packages offering free text retrieval and the resulting cash and manpower requirements. The effect of this development has been to better maximise the company's use of information and to develop the marketing researcher's skills into broader areas than those previously covered by reviewing numerical or market data alone.

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