Every Research Report requires information as the basis for analysis. Information sources can be categorised as either primary or secondary data. There is no requirement for you to collect primary data within your Research Report; it is wholly acceptable to undertake your Research Report using only secondary data. The difference between primary and secondary data is identified below. Primary data is original data that has been collected by a researcher by whatever means appropriate in the answer of a specific research question. i.e. it has been collected specifically for the Research Report. Examples of primary data include questionnaires, interviews, e-mail contacts and surveys.
If you decide to collect primary data as part of your research work, then you should state and justify the following:
The data collection techniques you intend to use e.g. questionnaires, interviews.
Your sample size and an outline of your sampling strategy. The method you will use to select your sample and the likely response rate. If you intend to collect primary data from staff within your chosen organisation you must obtain permission to do this from a senior member of staff within the organisation. You should do this as early as possible during your Research Report, since if you are denied access to your desired information sources you may have to reconsider how to meet your project objectives and research questions. Secondary data is data that has been collected by others for their own purposes, but which may be used by a researcher for his or her different purposes. Examples of secondary data include reference material, books, CD ROMs and financial statements. You should always evaluate the appropriateness and relevance of secondary data sources. Information included in internet sources may not be reliable from an academic perspective and may not be appropriate for use in your Research Report.
If you decide to use secondary data as part of your research work, you should...
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