Primary and Secondary Data

Topics: Research / Pages: 15 (3550 words) / Published: Feb 19th, 2013
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.
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.

References: 1. and.html#ixzz2B6ioqOwT 2. 3. Bryman, A. and E. Bell: 2003, Business Research Methods (Oxford University Press, Oxford, New York). 4. Dillman, Don A. Mail and Telephone Surveys: The Total Design Method. New York, John Wiley and Sons, 1978. 5. Galpin, T. The Use of Mail Questionnaires as a Method of Data Collection. (Sept, 1987) 14 of 15

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