Primary data and there collecting methodsWhat is Primary Data?Primary Data is research that has been conducted by your organization, first hand. It isalso known as Field Research. It is usually more reliable than secondary data, because itis usually more accurate since you collected it yourself. Primary data is specific andrelevant to your products and services. However, Primary Data is often very timeconsuming to collect, and usually costs more to create than purchasing secondary datareports. You must take special care when collecting primary data. It needs to berelevant, current, and as unbiased as possible.Primary Data is relevant when it directly applies to your companys products andservices. It is relevant when it relates to the problems you are trying to solve, and themarketing goals of your organization. Primary Data is current when it is recent, anddirectly corresponds to the profile of your customers TODAY. Primary Data is unbiasedwhen your subjects have been honest and open during data collection. Whenconstructing your Primary Data collection plan, you must consider research methods,contact methods, the sampling plan, and your research instruments.Research Methods consist of observation, surveys, andexperimentation. Contact Methods typically consist of mail, phone, personalinteraction, and various online methods. Sampling Plans take into account units, size,and procedures. Research Instruments typically consist of questionnaires and othermechanical instruments. Lets start with a quick discussion of Research Methods. Thereare five typical ways that Primary Data and they are observation, surveys, experiments,Schedule method and from local agentsObservationObservation is the collection of Primary Data through observing people, their actionsand the situations they are in. Observation may be the easiest research to do. Typically,observation is also the most cost effective method. Observation can also give you datathat people arent usually willing to tell you themselves, such as their feelings, emotions,attitudes or the motives behind their buying decisions.
How does observation work? Its extremely simple. Take a restaurant franchise owner.He may be planning on opening another location. He may also have little or no moneyto pay for marketing research. However a lot of the data he needs he can collecthimself. He can get into his car and drive around town, observing the traffic patterns.He can see where his clientele goes to shop. He can see what time the traffic appears.He can call real estate agents and ask them for lease prices for different properties. Hecan drive around and look for areas that dont have his type of restaurant, looking forareas of little competition. He can do all of this for just the cost of the gas in his car.You can do this yourself.SurveysSurveys are the most common method of collecting Primary Data. Surveys are the bestway to get the descriptive information that you need for your marketing intelligence.Simply put, surveys collect data by asking other people a series of questions about theirpersonal knowledge, emotions, attitudes, preferences, and buying behaviors. Surveyscan provide you a wealth of data. There is always a golden nugget, a piece of data thatcan give you the insight you need to figure out the direction of your next campaign.However, there are drawbacks to the data you collect via surveys. Often people justdont recall some of the information that you are asking for, and as a result, they areunable to answer the questions. Therefore the response that they give will not be thecomplete truth, it may be something that they feel you want to hear. Sometimespeople are unwilling to provide information that they might deem "private". Thisprevents completely truthful responses, and it skews the data that you are analyzing. Ifthe responses seem too good to be true...they just may be.ExperimentationPrimary Data can also be collected via experimentation. Experimentation is thepractice of gathering data by selecting matched groups of people, giving themdifferent treatments or scenarios, controlling related factors in theirenvironments, and checking for differences in their responses. Experimentationgives us what we call "causal" data. Causal data helps us explain cause and effectrelationships. Experimenting helps us try to answer "why" someone is doing
something, and what influences their buying behavior.A common example of experimentation is price testing. To the buyer, price willbe the final emotional factor that determines whether or not they will give ustheir hard earned money. Depending on the product and market segment, pricemay be the most important factor. How do you know what price is the rightprice? You have to test it. Many companies will test certain prices whencollecting primary data on a new menu item that is being developed. How do youthink McDonalds knows how much to charge for a Big Mac? They tested howmuch they can charge for that Big Mac, looking for that magic number that willprovide the most sales and the most profit.Schedule Method:In case the informants are largely uneducated and non-responsive data cannot becollected by the mailed questionnaire method. In such cases, schedule method is usedto collect data. Here the questionnaires are sent through the enumerators to collectinformation’s. Enumerators are persons appointed by the investigator for the purpose.They directly meet the informants with the questionnaire. They explain the scope andobjective of the enquiry to the informants and solicit their cooperation. Theenumerators ask the questions to the informants and record their answers in thequestionnaire and compile them. The success of this method depends on the sincerityand efficiency of the enumerators. So the enumerator should be sweet-tempered, good-natured, trained and well-behaved.Schedule method is widely used in extensive studies. It gives fairly correct result as theenumerators directly collect the information. The accuracy of the information dependsupon the honesty of the enumerators. They should be unbiased. This method isrelatively more costly and time-consuming than the mailed questionnaire method.From Local Agents:Sometimes primary data are collected from local agents or correspondents. Theseagents are appointed by the sponsoring authorities. They are well conversant with thelocal conditions like language, communication, food habits, traditions etc. Being on the
spot and well acquainted with the nature of the enquiry they are capable of furnishingreliable information.The accuracy of the data collected by this method depends on the honesty and sincerityof the agents. Because they actually collect the information from the spot. Informationfrom a wide area at less cost and time can be collected by this method. The method isgenerally used by government agencies, newspapers, periodicals etc. to collect data.Information are like raw materials or inputs in an enquiry. The result of the enquirybasically depends on the type of information used. Primary data can be collected byemploying any of the above methods. The investigator should make a rational choice ofthe methods to be used for collecting data. Because collection of data forms thebeginning of the statistical enquiry.