Data is a collection of facts, objects, events, figures, and symbols gathered from different sources. Organizations collect data with various data collection methods so they can make better decisions. For an organization, it will be difficult to make appropriate decisions without data, so they collect data from different audiences at various points in time. Before launching a new product an organization must collect data on customer preferences, competitors, and product demand.
Sources of Collection of Data
1. Primary Source
Primary sources are a collection of data from the source of origin. They offer the researcher first-hand quantitative and raw information related to the statistical study. These sources of data give the researcher direct access to the subject of research. Examples are interview transcripts and statistical data.
2. Secondary Source
A secondary source is a collection of data from some agencies or institutions that have already collected data from primary sources. This source does not offer the researcher first-hand quantitative and raw information related to the study. However, the secondary source of data collection describes, interprets, or synthesizes the primary sources. Examples are articles, reviews, academic books, and government websites containing surveys or data.
Principle Difference between Primary and Secondary Data
1. Difference in Originality
- Primary data: The primary data is collected from the starting source of origin. That’s the reason that the data is original.
- Secondary data: Secondary data is the data already present somewhere. That’s the reason that the data is not original.
2. The difference in Objective
- Primary data: This data is collected by the investigator always for the specific objective. So there is no requirement to make any adjustments for the purpose of the study.
- Secondary data: This data is collected by the investigator and has already been collected by someone else for some other purpose. So the investigator has to make necessary adjustments to the data to suit the main objective of the present study.
3. The difference in Cost of Collection
- Primary data: The cost of collecting primary data is higher than the cost of collecting secondary data in terms of money, time, and effort.
- Secondary data: The cost of collecting secondary data is less because the data is gathered from unpublished or published sources.