Secondary Sources Overview

Secondary Sources Overview

Government Websites:

Census Data

Consumer Info: American Factfinder

  • Fact sheet allows you to designate a town, county, state or zip code and get demographic highlights from the latest census updates or estimates (expect a time lag between census date and availability online).
  • Housing allows you similar access to housing structural characteristics, occupancy, financials like rental costs, home values, and mortgage statuses.
  • Business and government leads you to Census economic reports and place- and industry-specific demographic data (see NAICS below), as well as data for governmental agencies and expenditures.

Business Info: NAICS was developed jointly by the U.S., Canada, and Mexico to provide new comparability in statistics about business activity across North America. The specific NAICS code for a given industry may be found here.

  • For example, statistics on number of businesses, receipts, payroll and number of employees by industry sector here. Note that the sortable data is a 2007 updatemade available 7/2010. Use drop down menus in the upper left hand corner for metro area-, state- and county-specific information.

Public data

NORC (an organizational research data enclave) provides access to business data generated through a number of surveys, including the Kauffman Survey of new businesses (that compares new businesses financials, HR practices, etc.) and the USDA survey of agricultural businesses. Also maintains white papers on business issues.

Proprietary Websites:

1) MONITOR at (branching page) integrates proprietary quantitative survey data with observational insights to create deep and dynamic perspectives on the consumer trends shaping businesses around the world. Includes custom and standard reports such as:

  • Multicultural Marketing Study (MMS) is a multicultural study that offers a comparative and contrasting attitudinal and cultural insights into the growing and more affluent African American and Hispanic populations: Case study shows how an orgazation changed its sponsorship to better appeal to Hispanic markets.
  • Generational Marketing generational breaks are available to examine the evolution of attitudes within each generation and differences of younger generations today (Echo Boomers and Xers) compared with Baby Boomers when they were at a similar point in life.

2) SRI Consulting Business Intelligence page for information about the numerous lifestyle segmentation information products they sell, including VALS2 for US citizens' segments, UK_VALS and JapanVALS for those countries' consumers, and GeoVALS to combine geographic, demographic and psychographic elements. Take the VALS survey here.

3) Nielsen/Claritas webpage offers a variety of lifestyle segmentation products.

PRIZM breaks the US population into 15 main types, and 62 more-detailed clusters by lifestyle, see segment descriptions here.

Follow this link, and click on "USA Today feature". See the zipcode lookup feature, which defines the predominant segments in a given zipcode. Types of information available from PRIZM:

  • Rank Order Correlation (ROC) Reports are typically used to rank a series of product, media,or demographic profiles against a product profile to determine which are used/occur at above- or below-average rates in the types of neighborhoods that have the highest concentrations of users for your product. ROC reports are given for Demographics, Lifestyle information, and Media Usage for the most likely consumers of the client's specific product or service.
  • Market Potential Index Maps rank markets (geounits) by Market Potential Index (MPI) for the product profile you specify and breaks them by quintile. The MPI indicates each market's propensity to use a product, compared to an average of 100. The map is a graphic representation of the MPI report, with each quintile represented by a different shade.

4) Experian Simmons, previously SMRB (Simmons Market Research Bureau) at

  • Tracks product usage and media usage
  • BehaviorGraphics: a cooperative effort with Nielsen Company creates segmentation scheme to predict shopping and audience behaviors of specific demo/geo/psycho clusters: see slideshow

5) SRDS (Standard Rate and Data Systems) at

the leading provider of media rates (ad prices) and related data for advertisers. It lists advertising rates, editorial or programming content, circulation and other basic information (e.g. how many years in business and the name of the owner) for a broad range of media selling advertising space. SRDS also contains selected demographic and market information for metropolitan areas and counties