Primary and Secondary Data

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We explore the availability and use of data (primary and secondary) in the field of business research.Specifically, we examine an international sample of doctoral dissertations since 1998, categorizingresearch topics, data collection, and availability of data. Findings suggest that use of only primarydata pervades the discipline, despite strong methodological reasons to augment with secondary data.

Data can be defined as the quantitative or qualitative values of a variable. Data is plural of datum which literally means to give or something given. Data is thought to be the lowest unit of information from which other measurements and analysis can be done. Data can be numbers, images, words, figures, facts or ideas. Data in itself cannot be understood and to get information from the data one must interpret it into meaningful information. There are various methods of interpreting data. Data sources are broadly classified into primary and secondary data.Knowing how the data was collected allows critics of a study to search for bias in how it wasconducted. A good study will welcome such scrutiny. Each type has its own weaknesses andstrengths. Primary Data is gathered by people who can focus directly on the purpose in mind.This helps ensure that questions are meaningful to the purpose but can introduce bias in thosesame questions. Secondary data doesnt have the privilege of this focus but is only susceptibleto bias introduced in the choice of what data to reuse. Stated another way, those who gatherPrimary Data get to write the questions. Those who gather secondary data get to pick thequestions. IMPORTANCE OF DATA AND DATA COLLECTION

Data is one of the most important and vital aspect of any research studies. Researchers conducted in different fields of study can be different in methodology but every research is based on data which is analyzed and interpreted to get information. Data is the basic unit in statistical studies. Statistical information like census, population variables, health statistics, and road accidents records are all developed from data .Data is important in computer science. Numbers, images and figures in computer are all data . DATA COLLECTION TECHNIQUES

There are two sources of data collection techniques. Primary and Secondary data collection techniques, Primary data collection uses surveys, experiments or direct observations .Secondary data collection may be conducted by collecting information from a diverse source of documents or electronically stored information, census and market studies are examples of a common sources of secondary data. This is also referred to as "data mining." PRIMARY DATA

Primary data means original data that has been collected specially for the purpose in mind. It means someone collected the data from the original source first hand. Data collected this way is called primary data .Primary data has not been published yet and is more reliable, authentic and objective .Primary data has not been changed or altered by human beings; therefore its validity is greater than secondary data.The people who gather primary data may be an authorized organization, investigator, enumerator or they may be just someone with a clipboard. These people are acting as a witness so primary data is only considered as reliable as the people who gathered it. IMPORTANCE OF PRIMARY DATA

Importance of Primary data cannot be neglected. A research can be conducted withoutsecondary data but a research based on only secondary data is least reliable and may havebiases because secondary data has already been manipulated by human beings. In statisticalsurveys it is necessary to get information from primary sources and work on primary data: forexample, the statistical records of female population in a country cannot be based onnewspaper, magazine and other printed sources. One such sourceis old and secondly theycontain limited information as well as they can be misleading...
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