Data are numerical facts. They are figures collected in a systematic manner for a pre determined purpose. Those figures are aggregate of facts relating to one or more phenomenon of study. It is from the data collected that an economist study about a phenomenon and draw conclusions.
The sources of information are generallyclassified as primary or secondary. PRIMARY DATA When the researcher himself is trying tocollect the data for his particular purposefrom the sources available it becomesprimary data.
Observation method as the name itselfindicates is based on observation.Observation is keen and scientific study of aproblem. For example:- in a study of consumerbehavior the investigator instead of askingthe brand of wrist watch used by therespondent, may himself look a the watch.
Interview method is a direct method ofcollection of data, which is based oninterview. It is the most important methodsof collection of data. Through this methodwe can know the views and ideas of otherpersons. It s a method of social interaction.Interviews can be conducted throughpersonal and telephone.
This is an important and very popular methodof data collection. This is adopted byindividuals, organization and government. Inthis method, a questionnaire is prepared andsent to respondent by post. It is a set ofquestions. The success of this methoddepends on the proper drafting of thequestions.
It is a proforma containing a set of questions. This proforma is filled by enumerators who are specially identified for the purpose. The enumerators are persons acting under the direction of researchers. Requisite of a good schedule Accurate communication Schedules must be attractive Schedules must be attractive
Secondary data are those data which havecollected by some other person for theirpurpose and published. So a researcher issaid to make use of secondary data if hemakes use of data already compiled by someother person. Secondary data are in theshape of a finished products.
Sources of secondary data may be classifiedbroadly as internal and external. Internalsources of data represents the data that arealready available with the researchorganization. The information available withoutside organization are External.There a re variety of published sources fromwhich one can get information for hisresearch work.
o Official publications of the central, state and local governments.o Official publication of the foreign governments and international bodies like UNO and its subordinate bodies.o Technical journals, newspapers, books, periodicals, etc.o Publication of research organizations, centres, institutes and reports submitted by economists, research scholars etc.
Primary data are original in characterbecause the researcher himself collects thedata. Secondary data are not original. Theycollected by somebody else. The researcheronly makes use of them.