Application of Primary and Secondary Data -
September 10th, 2010
USES OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY DATA
The task of data collection begins after problem has been identified.
While deciding about the method of data collection to be used for the study the researcher should keep in mind two types of data viz, primary data and secondary.
The primary data are those, which are collected afresh and for first time and thus happens to be original in character.
The secondary are those which have been collected by someone else and which have already been passed through statistical process.
The researcher would have to decide which sort of data he would be using for his study.
The method collecting primary and secondary data differ since primary data are to be originally collected while in case of secondary data the nature of data collection work is merely that of compilation.
There are several ways of collecting primary data.
1. Observation method
2. Interview method
3. Through questionnaires
4. Through schedules
OTHER PRIMARY METHODS
Using mechanical devices
Through projective techniques
COLLECTION OF SECONDARY DATA
Secondary data means that are already available that is they refer to the data, which have already been collected and analyzed by someone else.
When the researcher utilizes secondary data, then he has to look into various sources from where he can obtain them. In this case he is certainly not confronted with the problems that are usually associated with the collection of original data.
Secondary data may be either published or unpublished data usually published data are available in:
Various publications of the central, state and local government
Various publications of foreign government or of international bodies and their subsidiary organization.
Technical and trade journals
Books magazines and newspapers
Reports publication of various associations connected with business and industry, banks, stocks exchanges etc
Reports prepared by various scholars’ universities economists etc in different field
Public records and statistics, historical documents and other sources of publish information.
The sources of unpublished data are many; they may be found in diaries, letters unpublished biographies and autobiographies and also may be available with scholar’s research workers. Trade organization, labor bureaus and other public/private organizations
Researcher must be careful in using data .he must make a minute because it is just possible that the secondary data may be unsuitable or maybe be inadequate in the context of a problem which the researcher wants to study.
It is observed that it is never safe to take publishes statistics at their face value without knowing their meaning and limitation.
Before using secondary data following characteristics must be kept in mind
Reliability of data: finding out such things about the said data can test the reliability
Who collected the data
What were the sources of data
Were they colleted by using proper method
at what time were they collected
Was there any bias of the complier
What level f accuracy was desired
Was it achieved?
Suitability of data: The data that are suitable for one enquiry may not necessarily be found in another enquiry. Hence if the available data are found to be suitable, they should not be used by the researcher .
in the context, the researcher must be very carefully scrutinize the definition of various units and terms of collection used at the time of collecting the data from the primary source originally.
similarly the object scope and nature of a original enquiry must also be studied .if the researcher finds differences the data will remain unsuitable for the present enquiry and should be used.
Adequacy of the data: if the level of accuracy achieved in data found inadequate for the purpose of the present enquiry, they will be considered as inadequate and should not be used by the researcher.
The data will also be considered inadequate, if they are related to an area which may be either narrower or wider than the area of the present enquiry.
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