Business and sales professionals perform market analysis when they want to learn the best ways to sell products in certain regions and to certain demographics. Market analysis can also help professionals to learn how economists predict certain industries might perform and about the behaviors of competitor businesses. Most kinds of market analysis software perform either qualitative or quantitative research, though more complex programs may offer functions that fit in both categories. When market analysis software performs qualitative functions, it contains features that allow users to explore various opinions and behaviors that affect a company's success. Quantitative software, on the other hand, is used by professionals who wish to collect data and generate charts and graphs for analysis.
A professional who uses market analysis software for qualitative purposes might conduct interviews with individual consumers or with focus groups. He or she might also distribute surveys to members of certain demographics. A software user then enters data into a program so that he or she can share it with colleagues or access it later to perform further analysis.
Market analysis software used for qualitative purposes normally has the capability to store files in a number of different formats. For instance, if a marketing professional makes audio recordings of interviews he or she conducts with clients, he or she can upload those recordings into a program for analysis. It is also common for researchers to conduct studies with market analysis software. They might ask members of a focus group to discuss products or services in a chat room where all discussions are recorded. Clients may also complete surveys by entering answers directly into a program.
When professionals use market analysis software to perform quantitative analysis, it is often to study numerical data. For example, software users might create graphs with which they can observe how much members of a demographic spend each month. They can also compare the performances of their different products and services.
Quantitative market analysis software often offers real time functions. This kind of software can track market behavior as it changes. Professionals use this kind of software when they want to learn how stocks, products, or overall performance changes over short periods of time.
While many professionals prefer market analysis software they can purchase and install, it also is common to find software as a service. Software as a service often is part of a cloud computing package. Users benefit from software that they can access from almost any location. Software as a service providers often perform upgrades, freeing marketing professionals from dependence on information technology (IT) services.