Where can I find data and in particular the statistics for market research? This is a question that many people ask themselves when they begin their research, especially when the budget is tight, and they are looking to conduct market research for free. Because having a method is not enough, it is also necessary to have data to use. However, at the beginning of the market research (desk research), it is essential to have reliable data to get a first idea of the market, its reality and the difficulties to be expected.
Reliable sources are, therefore, essential.Read also: Read our white paper on market research
In this article, which is updated continuously, we provide you with a series of reliable sources, classified by country. We begin by analysing the websites of national statistical institutes, an inexhaustible source of interesting data to which all serious market research should refer.
Would-be entrepreneurs and independents: do not forget to name your sources so that your market research is credible to banks
Producing market research is an essential prerequisite for any project leader who wishes to borrow money from a bank. The banks have specialists who can assess your conclusions and the accuracy of your methodological approach. Therefore, make sure to quote your sources correctly and above all to use reliable sources as a guarantee of credibility. The studies and figures made available by the national statistical institutes represent the highest possible level of reliability.
The Statistisches Budesamt makes German statistics available to all on its Destatis website. This site is also accessible in English.
Navigating through the different sections is simple; the calendar of publications is rich. A database can also be consulted online and is called Genesis. Be aware, however, that access to information is more complicated on Genesis than it is on the Destatis site. It will take you more time to access the desired figures on Genesis, but you will find more granular information.
Statistik Austria provides the official Austrian statistics. The site is a little austere but still has an English version. Unfortunately, the latter is not complete and publications, for example, are only available in English. If you are looking for statistical data, your starting point will be this one. The menu on the left will give you access to the different themes available but do not expect in-depth analyses. The figures are most of the time made available in a rather raw form.
An open data portal (StatCube) is also available, which will allow you to produce your graphics and cross-reference the data in which you are interested.
Official statistics are produced and made available by Statbel. The site is accessible in the three national languages (French, Dutch, German) as well as in English.
New figures are published every day, and the calendar can be consulted here (a keyword search will allow you to identify the figure or figures that may help you quickly).
An open data portal is also available that gives access to a wealth of data that you can manipulate and cross-reference as you wish.
You may also note that Statbel publishes specific reports once a year (only available in the national languages and not in English). The first concerns agriculture and the second concerns Belgium in general. (This can be a good starting point if you are carrying out market research to export to Belgium and you do not yet know enough about this country).
For the employment and business market, we would strongly recommend that you also consult the Belgian Social Security website (ONSS), which has a research department that provides figures on the structure of companies and the employment market in general.
Statistics Denmark is another model in terms of the wealth of available statistical data and its emphasis. You can easily navigate from the home page through the different topics, explore them further, and if you have any questions, you will even find the contact details of the person to contact, this is unique.
For data enthusiasts, also remember to visit the database here.
The Instituto Nacional de Estadistica is your gateway to statistical data for your market research in Spain. The site is available in English and has an alphabetical list of all available figures, which is very useful to guide you.
While the statistics are presented in a relatively raw form, the site also has a large number of exciting and detailed publications. However, these are not translated into English and are only available in Spanish.
In France, official statistics are provided by INSEE. The site is available in French and English. However, a 100% translation of the site into English is not guaranteed.
The Tables of the French Economy (TEF) are a good starting point for global benchmarks on the country’s economy (in French only). INSEE also offers interactive modules to explore the country at different levels of complexity. For entrepreneurs looking to conduct free market research, we strongly recommend that you take an interest in ODIL, an interactive tool that will allow you to visualise the competition in a given territory easily.
Finally, INSEE offers a rich library of publications on various topics. The chances are that you will find what you are looking for in one of them.
A robust market research tool, used in France: ODIL
INSEE provides entrepreneurs and anyone wishing to carry out market research with a tool called ODIL. This tool (which requires ‘Flash’) allows you to select a town and define a full catchment area to obtain a whole series of local and national statistics on a given activity.
You will therefore first need to select your activity, then the geographical area of interest before accessing a list of data for your market research.
As you can see from the screenshot below, the data for your market research has several types: companies performing the same activity (beneficial for your competition research), statistics on your potential customers in the catchment area, as well as statistics on a national level in your market.
Visualization obtained with ODIL (market research tool for France)
The Italian statistical institute is called ISTAT. Its website is theoretically also available in English, but in practice, the English version is not as rich or up to date as the Italian version. We, therefore, advise you, as far as possible, to consult the Italian version as a matter of priority to obtain the most up-to-date information.
An open database is available at this address.
The Luxembourg Statistics Portal is the place where you will find the statistics you need for market research in Luxembourg.
The website is well structured, by theme (employment, business, agriculture, demography), and each section will give you access to the relevant figures.
However, it is regrettable that the statistics are at a national level. Even for a small country, it would have been useful to have data available at a regional level (especially if you need to study the establishment of a local company).
In the Netherlands, national statistics are made available to all by the CBS (Centraal Bureau voor Statistiek), which also offers an English version corresponding to the original Dutch version. Those looking for figures for their market research can start by looking at this page, which groups together just about everything that CBS covers in terms of themes. The rest of the site is organised according to the following subjects: work and income, economy, society. The newly published figures result in a short article presenting the statistics in question. This is a weak point of the CBS which, unlike some of its European counterparts, does not publish a massive report on one or more themes.
The CBS also has a site dedicated to open data called statline.
The Instituto Nacional de Estadistica makes Portuguese statistical data available to the public. The available data are classic, but the institute also has, in addition to a rich library of publications in English ( we applaud the effort), some exciting complementary products:
- database of property prices in Portugal (attention: only costs for the most important cities are available, and the level of granularity is relatively high, see screenshot for property prices in Lisbon)
- large-scale longitudinal studies on various themes
Statistics on real estate prices in Portugal (example above: real estate prices in Lisbon)
THE UNITED KINGDOM
English statistical data is made available to the public by the Office for National Statistics and is one of the most generous institutes. In addition to dealing with a vast range of topics, the published figures are also explained, and complete reports are published. The structure of the reports is also very well done as it starts with a summary of the main ideas (beneficial when you are at the beginning of your market research and are still looking to find your way). A little tip to go even faster in your research: remember to display all the publications available for the theme you are interested in (see below).
The Federal Statistical Office (FSO) gathers the statistics available for the Swiss Federation. In addition to its availability in 5 languages (German, Italian, French, Romansh and English), the SFSO website is exceptionally well designed, its interface pleasant and efficient. This will allow us to start with an overview of all the statistical data available in the “finding statistics” section. The visitor will then quickly discover that in addition to the richness of the themes covered, they are also treated in a wide variety of forms: publications, studies, computer graphics, maps, raw data, and so on. So there’s little chance you won’t find what you are looking for.
Also remember to consult the Swiss open data portal, which is full interetsing datasets.
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