Primary data and there collecting methods
What is Primary Data?
Primary Data is research that has been conducted by your organization, first hand. It is
also known as Field Research. It is usually more reliable than secondary data, because it
is usually more accurate since you collected it yourself. Primary data is specific and
relevant to your products and services. However, Primary Data is often very time
consuming to collect, and usually costs more to create than purchasing secondary data
reports. You must take special care when collecting primary data. It needs to be
relevant, current, and as unbiased as possible.
Primary Data is relevant when it directly applies to your company's products and
services. It is relevant when it relates to the problems you are trying to solve, and the
marketing goals of your organization. Primary Data is current when it is recent, and
directly corresponds to the profile of your customers TODAY. Primary Data is unbiased
when your subjects have been honest and open during data collection. When
constructing 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, and
experimentation. Contact Methods typically consist of mail, phone, personal
interaction, and various online methods. Sampling Plans take into account units, size,
and procedures. Research Instruments typically consist of questionnaires and other
mechanical instruments. Let's start with a quick discussion of Research Methods. There
are five typical ways that Primary Data and they are observation, surveys, experiments,
Schedule method and from local agents
Observation is the collection of Primary Data through observing people, their actions
and 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 data
that people aren't usually willing to tell you themselves, such as their feelings, emotions,
attitudes or the motives behind their buying decisions.
How does observation work? It's extremely simple. Take a restaurant franchise owner.
He may be planning on opening another location. He may also have little or no money
to pay for marketing research. However a lot of the data he needs he can collect
himself. 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. He
can drive around and look for areas that don't have his type of restaurant, looking for
areas of little competition. He can do all of this for just the cost of the gas in his car.
You can do this yourself.
Surveys are the most common method of collecting Primary Data. Surveys are the best
way 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 their
personal knowledge, emotions, attitudes, preferences, and buying behaviors. Surveys
can provide you a wealth of data. There is always a golden nugget, a piece of data that
can 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 just
don't recall some of the information that you are asking for, and as a result, they are
unable to answer the questions. Therefore the response that they give will not be the
complete truth, it may be something that they feel you want to hear. Sometimes
people are unwilling to provide information that they might deem "private". This
prevents completely truthful responses, and it skews the data that you are analyzing. If
the responses seem too good to be true...they just may be.
Primary Data can also be collected via experimentation. Experimentation is the
practice of gathering data by selecting matched groups of people, giving them
different treatments or scenarios, controlling related factors in their
environments, and checking for differences in their responses. Experimentation
gives us what we call "causal" data. Causal data helps us explain cause and effect
relationships. 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 will
be the final emotional factor that determines whether or not they will give us
their hard earned money. Depending on the product and market segment, price
may be the most important factor. How do you know what price is the right
price? You have to test it. Many companies will test certain prices when
collecting primary data on a new menu item that is being developed. How do you
think McDonalds knows how much to charge for a Big Mac? They tested how
much they can charge for that Big Mac, looking for that magic number that will
provide the most sales and the most profit.
In case the informants are largely uneducated and non-responsive data cannot be
collected by the mailed questionnaire method. In such cases, schedule method is used
to collect data. Here the questionnaires are sent through the enumerators to collect
information’s. Enumerators are persons appointed by the investigator for the purpose.
They directly meet the informants with the questionnaire. They explain the scope and
objective of the enquiry to the informants and solicit their cooperation. The
enumerators ask the questions to the informants and record their answers in the
questionnaire and compile them. The success of this method depends on the sincerity
and efficiency of the enumerators. So the enumerator should be sweet-tempered, goodnatured, trained and well-behaved.
Schedule method is widely used in extensive studies. It gives fairly correct result as the
enumerators directly collect the information. The accuracy of the information depends
upon the honesty of the enumerators. They should be unbiased. This method is
relatively more costly and time-consuming than the mailed questionnaire method.
From Local Agents:
Sometimes primary data are collected from local agents or correspondents. These
agents are appointed by the sponsoring authorities. They are well conversant with the
local 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 furnishing
The accuracy of the data collected by this method depends on the honesty and sincerity
of the agents. Because they actually collect the information from the spot. Information
from a wide area at less cost and time can be collected by this method. The method is
generally used by government agencies, newspapers, periodicals etc. to collect data.
Information are like raw materials or inputs in an enquiry. The result of the enquiry
basically depends on the type of information used. Primary data can be collected by
employing any of the above methods. The investigator should make a rational choice of
the methods to be used for collecting data. Because collection of data forms the
beginning of the statistical enquiry.