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Secondary Data

By | August 2011
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Q) What are Secondary Data?

Secondary Data

Secondary data is information gathered for purposes other than the completion of a research project. Data previously collected by someone else, possibly for some other purpose that can be used later for making decisions if found suitable for the purpose, other than the original one. Secondary data can be acquired from the internal records of the organization, their departments, subsidiaries or sister organizations and also from external sources, such as chambers of commerce, government, professional and commercial consultants subject to the availability of data .

• e.g., data in books, journals, newspapers, magazines, etc. • e.g., data in reports, surveys, etc

A variety of secondary information sources is available to the researcher gathering data on an industry, potential product applications and the market place. Secondary data is also used to gain initial insight into the research problem. Secondary data is classified in terms of its source – either internal or external. Internal, or in-house data, is secondary information acquired within the organization where research is being carried out. External secondary data is obtained from outside sources. The secondary information will provide a useful background and will identify key questions and issues that will need to be addressed by the primary research.


• Low cost
• Less effort
• Less time
• At times, more accurate
• At times, only way to obtain data


• Collected for some other purpose
• No control over data collection
• May not be accurate
• May not be in correct form
• May be outdated
• May not meet data requirements
• Assumptions have to be made

Q) What are the major problems encountered with Secondary Data?

It is necessary that the secondary data are taken from a source which obtained from the original...

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