CONTENTSINTRODUCTIONIMPORTANCE OF DATA AND DATA COLLECTIONDATA COLLECTION TECHNIQUESPRIMARY DATASOURCES OF PRIMARY DATAADVANTAGES OF PRIMARY DATADISADVANTAGES OF PRIMARY DATASECONDARY DATASOURCES OF SECONDARY DATAADVANTAGES OF SECONDARY DATADISADVANTAGES OF SECONDARY DATACONCLUSION
Data can be defined as the quantitative orqualitative values of a variable. Data is plural ofdatum which literally means to give or somethinggiven. Data is thought to be the lowest unit ofinformation from which other measurements andanalysis can be done. Data can benumbers, images, words, figures, facts or ideas. Datain itself cannot be understood and to getinformation from the data one must interpret it intomeaningful information. There are various methodsof interpreting data. Data sources are broadlyclassified into primary and secondary data.
IMPORTANCE OF DATA AND DATA COLLECTIONData is one of the most important and vitalaspect of any research studies. Researchersconducted in different fields of study can bedifferent in methodology but every research isbased on data which is analyzed and interpretedto get information. Data is the basic unit instatistical studies. Statistical information likecensus, population variables, healthstatistics, and road accidents records are alldeveloped from data.
DATA COLLECTION TECHNIQUESThere are two sources of data collectiontechniques. Primary and Secondary datacollection techniques, Primary data collection usessurveys, experiments or direct observations.Secondary data collection may be conducted bycollecting information from a diverse source ofdocuments or electronically storedinformation, census and market studies areexamples of a common sources of secondary data.This is also referred to as "data mining."
PRIMARY DATAPrimary data means original data that hasbeen collected specially for the purpose in mind.It means someone collected the data from theoriginal source first hand. Data collected this wayis called primary data.Primary data has not been published yetand is more reliable, authentic and objective.Primary data has not been changed or altered byhuman beings; therefore its validity is greaterthan secondary data.
SurveySurvey is most commonly used method in socialsciences, management, marketing and psychology to some extent.Surveys can be conducted in different methods.QuestionnaireQuestionnaire is the most commonly used method in survey.Questionnaires are a list of questions either an open-ended or close -ended for which the respondent give answers. Questionnaire can beconducted via telephone, mail, live in a public area, or in aninstitute, through electronic mail or through fax and other methods.InterviewInterview is a face-to-face conversation with the respondent. It isslow, expensive, and they take people away from their regular jobs, butthey allow in-depth questioning and follow-up questions.ObservationsObservations can be done while letting the observing personknow that he is being observed or without letting him know. Observationscan also be made in natural settings as well as in artificially createdenvironment.
ADVANTAGES OF PRIMARY DATAData interpretation is better.Targeted Issues are addressed.Efficient Spending for Information.Decency of Data.Addresses Specific Research Issues.Greater Control.Proprietary Issues.
DISADVANTAGES OF PRIMARY RESEARCHHigh CostTime ConsumingInaccurate Feed-backsMore number of resources is required
SECONDARY DATASecondary data is the data that has beenalready collected by and readily available from othersources. When we use Statistical Method withPrimary Data from another purpose for our purposewe refer to it as Secondary Data. It means that onepurposes Primary Data is another purposesSecondary Data. So that secondary data is data thatis being reused. Such data aremore quicklyobtainable than the primary data.These secondary data may be obtained frommany sources, including literature, industrysurveys, compilations from computerized databasesand information systems, and computerized ormathematical models of environmental processes.
Published Printed SourcesThere are varieties of published printed sources. Their credibility dependson many factors. For example, on the writer, publishing company and time and datewhen published. New sources are preferred and old sources should be avoided asnew technology and researches bring new facts into light.BooksBooks are available today on any topic that you want to research. The usesof books start before even you have selected the topic. After selection of topicsbooks provide insight on how much work has already been done on the same topicand you can prepare your literature review. Books are secondary source but mostauthentic one in secondary sources.Journals/periodicalsJournals and periodicals are becoming more important as far as datacollection is concerned. The reason is that journals provide up-to-date informationwhich at times books cannot and secondly, journals can give information on the veryspecific topic on which you are researching rather talking about more general topics.Magazines/NewspapersMagazines are also effective but not very reliable. Newspaper on the otherhand is more reliable and in some cases the information can only be obtainedfrom newspapers as in the case of some political studies.
Published Electronic SourcesAs internet is becoming more advance, fast and reachable tothe masses; it has been seen that much information that is notavailable in printed form is available on internet. In the past thecredibility of internet was questionable but today it is not. The reasonis that in the past journals and books were seldom published oninternet but today almost every journal and book is available online.Some are free and for others you have to pay the price.E-journals: e-journals are more commonly available than printedjournals. Latest journals are difficult to retrieve without subscriptionbut if your university has an e-library you can view any journal, print itand those that are not available you can make an order for them.General Websites; Generally websites do not contain very reliableinformation so their content should be checked forthe reliability before quoting from them.Weblogs: Weblogs are also becoming common. They are actuallydiaries written by different people. These diaries are as reliable to useas personal written diaries.
ADVANTAGES OF SECONDARY DATAInexpensiveEasily accessibleImmediately availableWill provide essential background and help toclarify or refine research problem – essentialfor literature reviewSecondary data sources will provide researchmethod alternatives.Will also alert the researcher to any potentialdifficulties.
DISADVANTAGES OF SECONDARY DATA*Expensive*Not immediately available – takes time todefine problem, sampling frame, method andanalysis.*Not as readily accessible*Incomplete Information
CONCLUSIONPrimary research entails the use ofimmediate data in determining the survival of themarket. The popular ways to collect primary dataconsist of surveys, interviews and focusgroups, which shows that direct relationshipbetween potential customers and the companies.Whereas secondary research is a means toreprocess and reuse collected information as anindication for betterments of the service orproduct.