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When you’re starting out on a market research project, the choice of tools can be overwhelming. Even for an exercise as simple as a short customer survey, there are hundreds of different tools you can use. 

It might seem like all these research tools are interchangeable. To an extent, some are. But the selection of market research tools significantly impacts the type of research that’s possible. Some tools are better suited to primary market research; others only work for secondary market research. Some tools produce detailed quantitative datasets, whereas others are more useful for qualitative research techniques used to explore complex ideas.

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Market Research

Learn how you can start building a significant competitive advantage with market research. 


It’s important to select a blend of different market research tools. This ensures that the research offers a balanced output that incorporates a variety of data from different sources. For market research projects with a narrower scope, take care to select research tools that enable you to execute on the specific goals of your research project. This is particularly true for more complex forms of market research, such as conjoint analysis. 

The tools listed in this article cover a wide variety of different types of market research, from secondary desk research to cutting-edge prediction market technology. Here are the tools:

  1. Surveys: FocusVision Decipher
  2. Conjoint Analysis: Sawtooth Software
  3. Market Data: IBISWorld
  4. Secondary Research: Google Research Tools
  5. Data Visualization: Tableau
  6. Prediction Market Research: HUUNUⓇ 

Let’s explore the tools in more detail.

Surveys: FocusVision Decipher

survey tool

Surveys are perhaps the most common form of primary market research. Researchers can use them to solicit data from a wide variety of respondents, capturing large datasets that can yield highly informative analysis.

The FocusVision Decipher survey platform is a market research tool that offers a range of pre-built surveys that researchers can customize to their needs. With survey templates for studying brand awareness, testing marketing collateral, or understanding a firm’s Net Promoter Score (NPS), and more, it’s easy for new users to get started on the platform.

Another additional benefit of FocusVision Decipher is the scale that the platform offers. It’s easy for researchers to administer surveys to large groups of respondents, and surveys can be presented in multiple languages. The surveys are always mobile friendly, and can be taken on any device, making it easy for respondents to participate and boosting research engagement levels. 

Conjoint Analysis: Sawtooth Software


Conjoint analysis is a powerful form of market research that enables market researchers to understand the tradeoffs customers make when choosing products and services. This is an extremely valuable research tool when optimizing product features, design, and pricing strategies. 

It’s impossible to conduct conjoint analysis effectively without advanced market research software specifically built for this task. The market leader is Sawtooth Software. The company has provided market researchers with conjoint analysis software for over 30 years. 

Sawtooth Software’s Discover platform makes it easy to get started, and there is a range of more sophisticated tools available for more complex market research projects. For those new to conjoint analysis, there is a wealth of online resources, frequent training sessions, and a dedicated support team.

Market Data: IBISWorld

An important--and often overlooked--aspect of market research is conducting thorough secondary research, using existing data sources. In doing so, researchers can better understand the market their organization operates in, discover macroeconomic trends that will impact their business and access detailed information on competitors.


The leading source of secondary market research is IBISWorld. The organization boasts a long track record of consistently providing market research reports to the world’s most prominent organizations, and has specialist research in virtually every industry imaginable.

As a bonus, IBISWorld research integrates seamlessly with many Market and Competitive Intelligence (M/CI) platforms, including Knowledge360Ⓡ (it is easily added through our aggregate news provider or via an RSS feed). This means that the latest reports on your industry will be piped directly into your M/CI dashboards as soon as they are released, offering unparalleled access to high-quality secondary market research.

Secondary Research: Google Research Tools

The development of the internet has had a flywheel effect on the amount of data that market researchers can incorporate into their research. That effect is clearest across the Google platform, where billions of consumers enter countless search queries every day. 

There are a variety of market research tools available on the Think with Google platform. One of the best, and easiest to use, is Google Trends.

google trends

Google Trends is a free market research tool that researchers can use to understand search volumes for terms related to their target market. Researchers can compare search volumes: for example, search volume for their brand vs. that of a competitor. It’s possible to drill down into the data and understand regional market trends.  

Data Visualization: Tableau


When conducting market research, it’s always important to present the data in an engaging, visual format that's easy for your audience to understand. Busy executive-level decision-makers don’t have time to read a lengthy report on the findings of market research, and many value easily-digestible visualizations of key data points.

Tableau offers organizations the ability to create engaging visualizations of complex datasets. The platform is faster than many of its competitors, integrates with a wide range of tools, and uses AI to harvest advanced insights from large datasets. 

Prediction Market Research: HUUNU 

HUUNU Bank Prediction

Prediction market research is a relatively new field of market research and has risen to increase prominence in recent years. Prediction market research enables organizations to accurately predict consumer preferences as well as the development and adoption of new trends, technologies, and innovations. This is particularly valuable in helping organizations determine where to best allocate resources to ensure strong long-term performance. 

HUUNU is a prediction market platform that enables researchers to conduct robust foresight research using a proven algorithm three to five times faster than other services. Organizations can use HUUNU to test different hypotheses of what the future might look like and to obtain reliable predictions that are proven to be more accurate than traditional market research tools.

To learn more, schedule a demo of HUUNU now.

Closing Thoughts: A Balanced Approach

While these six market research tools represent some of the best software in the business, the reality is that your choice of market research tools will be driven by the scope and depth of your market research initiative. 

Make sure to use tools your market research team understands and can also use. As you might have noticed, some of the tools listed above are difficult to use without the right level of expertise and experience. Another factor that influences the selection of market research tools is the type of research being conducted. Clearly, primary research and secondary research require a completely different set of tools, as do quantitative research and qualitative research.

If you’re in need of further support with market research, the team at Cipher can help. Our consultants are available to build your organization’s capabilities and lead execution on complex market research projects. To learn more, schedule a call with the team.