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Confused about off-shoring business research? There is so much hype among both, the proponents and opponents of off-shoring that it is hard to distinguish fact from fiction.

Here are a few myths I have encountered in the last more-than-a-decade I have been associated with offshore business research.

1. Off-shoring research is a new phenomenon

I mentioned that I have been connected with business research off-shoring for more than a decade and the practice is actually much older than even that. Some large corporations and database providers started offshore market intelligence operations as early as mid-nineties. Some well-known names include Mellon, Merck, GE, Oracle, Reuters, GM, IBM, Neilsen, Cisco, among others. While data on research off-shoring is scarce, estimates put the growth at over 70% in the 2003 – 2010 period. In recent years, medium and small companies have also jumped into the fray. Traditional market research firms have been outsourcing (onshore as well as offshore) fieldwork, panels, SPSS analysis, etc. to subcontractors for the longest time. So this is a fairly established best practice among corporates, though it is not very easy to find good case studies on it.

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