Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


What is Universe Trends?

Universe Trends is a web site that provides quarterly market trend information for research, analysis, and proposals at no charge. Custom research services, analysis, and consultation are also available on a paid basis.

How are the quarterly results determined?

The quarterly results are determined using a ten step process (patent pending) for compiling and auditing response list metadata for descriptive and predictive market trend analysis. The process includes the following steps outlined below, but contains additional auditing, analysis, normalization, and exception reporting for further refinement:

  • Step I – Secondary Market Research:  a qualified online market researcher searches the Internet for direct marketing media services providers with data card web sites. The company name and URL for each data card web site is saved for future reference.
  • Step II – Web Site Qualification:  the researcher either qualifies or rejects each web site for future use. At least one data card representing a branded direct marketing media title must be accessible in the public domain in order for the site to be qualified for research purposes. Unqualified sites would be documented as such, and revisited (optional) at a later date to determine if new files are available for consideration in the sample data set.
  • Step III – Data Card Qualification:  the researcher reviews each data card on the qualified sites for acceptance based on the required source criteria:  branded title, quarterly counts update, average unit of sale, names through date for acquisition (must be greater than or equal to the current date minus 90 days), and at least one gender percentage.
  • Step IV – Database Entry:  If the conditions are met for Step III, then the researcher proceeds with the data entry for title, source URL, consumer or business indicator, acquisition category (buyers, subscribers, donors), primary market category (apparel, financial, outdoor, etc.), additional market categories represented, quarterly counts, average unit of sale, gender percentages, gender match rate, and media management company and contact information.
  • Step V – Data Standardization:  the gender values must be standardized. This is done by dividing each gender percentage by the total of the male and female gender values and overwriting them.
  • Step VI – Missing Data Look Up and Append:  the database is filtered for missing values which would most likely be average magazine prices or unit of sale for subscription files.
  • Step VII – Updates and Validation:  the difference between the 6-month and 3-month count values is used to validate the prior period data. If an inconsistency is found, then the record is flagged for verification.
  • Step VIII – Metadata Category Aggregation:  this is where the market trend averages are created. Pivot tables and other VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) tools are used to efficiently create dynamic charts and graphs.
  • Step XI – Descriptive Statistics:  the following statistics are applied to the aggregated data:  measures of central tendency and variation (mean, median, range, standard deviation, and coefficient of variation).
  • Step X – Analysis and Projection:  the data is presented by category with qualitative review (by Universe Trends, LLC and third-party associates).

Is the source data available for research and analysis?

Yes, detailed information can be made available upon written request. Please specify your primary research or marketing objective, and include your company name and URL with your contact information in your email to

How often are the reports on this site updated?

The data is updated bi-weekly as new counts are made available. Quarterly counts are projected based on forecasting techniques and then subsequently over-written as information is compiled. The actual customer (or donor) acquisition data is finalized approximately 60 days following the close of quarter (calendar year basis).

Can I use or copy this information?

Yes, the information on this site is available for public use with attribution. If shared online, then please provide a link (URL) back to the respective page as the reference. If shared offline, the please reference the following source:  Universe Trends, LLC. The use of information from this site without attribution is not permitted. If you have any questions or concerns related to this, please do not hesitate to contact us.