Update: Check our Free Research Reports page for a list of current free reports available. One of our missions here at bizologie is to help our readers find business information for free whenever possible. But what can you do when that great market research report you need costs anywhere from $500 to $5000? Well, that's when you put your mad library skills to good use and start doing some creative Googling. For example, we know that Gartner, Inc and Forrester Research offer all kinds of market research reports in the information technology space. I also know that Gartner calls their reports "Magic Quadrants" while Forrester uses the title "Forrester Wave". These reports are very expensive to purchase but sometimes other companies will post them freely on their websites. As an example search, we'll use a Gartner report. I've chosen "mobile enterprise applications" as a subject I'd like a market research report on. Using Google as my search engine of choice, I type in "gartner magic quadrant mobile enterprise" and then choose "advanced search". Under "file type" I use the drop down menu to choose PDF. Then I click the "Advanced Search" button and...bam! First hit: Gartner's "Magic Quadrant for Mobile Enterprise Application Platforms". And I've just saved $1995.00.
Now sometimes you won't know that Gartner has this report available. I can still type in "mobile enterprise application" and limit my search to PDFs. As a shortcut, you can just add "filetype:PDF" to your search string rather than using the advanced search feature. That particular Gartner report is still the fourth item down in my search. And now I'm not limited to only Gartner reports but reports from other firms, as well. Some other research firms you might look for include IDC, Frost & Sullivan, Jupiter and Aberdeen.
We'll be honest and say it doesn't work every time, but I'd say I have good luck finding reports about 70% of the time. Obviously, the newest reports present the biggest challenge, but even if you can find one that's a year or two old, it can still be very valuable information. Some research firms also offer the option of buying just a section of a report for a discounted price. For example, let's say you find a report that is $5000. You might see that the information you need is in chapter 7 of a report and they may be willing to sell you just that section for say $700.
If you've never seen one of these reports, they're usually maybe 20-30 pages long and include things like a graph of players in the space, an overview of the industry, strengths and weakness of players in the space and maybe a forecast of future expectations for the industry. Below you'll find examples of Magic Quadrants and Forrester Waves. Happy Searching!