Methods of Data Collection

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Methods of Data Collection

There are two approaches or methods of data collection, namely, primary data collection and secondary data collection. In research, when the researcher identifies the problem of research, then the next stage of research is data collection. The researcher can adopt any method of data collection according to his research work.

Primary Data

In simple words primary data means information collected for the first time. It refers to that information which is generated to meet the specific requirements of the investigation at hand. e.g. Data obtained in a population census by the census commissioner depending upon the research is the common example of primary data.

There are some advantages and limitations of primary data.

Advantages of Primary Data

  1. According to Primary data, the researcher can easily explain the various definitions, concepts and different terms in the research subject.
  2. Primary Data includes description of the procedure and copy of the schedule used in collecting data and selecting the sample.
  3. It is more accurate, relevant and gives detailed information according to the research subject.

Disadvantages of Primary Data

  1. For collection of Primary data, it requires trained investigators or experts are required. Otherwise, it may lead to unreliable data collection as well as wrong observations.
  2. This method of data collection is much expensive. Further it requires more efforts and enough time.

Secondary Data

In simple words, secondary data means data collected previously. It is also known as published data. In other words, secondary data is information that is collected for a purpose other than to solve the specific problem under investigation. A very common example of secondary sources is data published in RBI Bulletin, Govt. reports, Industrial Report, etc.

Advantages of Secondary Data

  1. Secondary data provide supplementary information of research subject.
  2. It is helpful for the formulation of hypothesis in the research.
  3. Compared to primary data, it is less costly and less time-consuming.
  4. If the secondary data is published by Govt. or any other authentic organization, means it is reliable and authentic.

Disadvantages of Secondary Data

  1. By definition of secondary data, it may be old data.
  2. If the secondary data is published by unauthorized sources. It is not reliable and authentic.
  3. When the secondary data is not commonly used and produced, it will be difficult for the researcher to find the source of secondary data.

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