Trends/Desktop research

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Trends/Desktop research

What's this for?

Trend analysis - and desktop research in general - helps to describe your business idea in the context of larger societal trends, and gives you the 'top down' side of your market and industry research.

A trend analysis is also useful for examining additional or alternative uses and markets for your idea, and reasons for its relevance, helping you to broaden your thinking about the future of your venture.

You may also discover trends which pose a challenge to your idea. It’s important to acknowledge these challenges at the beginning, and address them throughout your project.

Ultimately, you'll want to validate your desktop research by performing Preferred witness interviews (see Entrepreneurial Market Research tool).


• If you are already starting your project with a product/technology ('push') you can research current trends which might suggest promising applications for your product idea or new technology.

• If you are searching for a product idea ('pull'), or you’ve just discarded an idea and need something new, you can use desktop trend research to get some initial impressions about traction in certain market areas.

Suggested steps


1. Click the link to access the Learning Manual: ‘IE&D Trend Analysis.


2. Do a 'PEST' analysis to identify Political, Economic, Social and Technological trends that may support or inspire a business idea.


3. Perform desktop research, talk to experts, and/or observe people linked to your target potential customer and industry pools. If relevant, take advantage of the Open Data sources that are increasingly available on the Internet.


4. Summarise your findings in preparation for Workshop 1, and use the Idea Generation activity to further test your ideas.

If you need to print out a copy of the learning manual(s) for offline use, please follow these steps:
    - Click the "Create PDF" button at the top right hand corner of the page.
    - Scroll to the "Attachment" section (at the end of the last page).
    - Click on the paperclip icon next to the manual.