# Primary and secondary data, their differences and advantages

Definition of data:

The source from which the information can be obtained for any statistical inquiry is called data. The investigator may collect the data first hand or he may use the data from published sources like government and semi-government sources, periodical, journals, news papers etc.

There are mainly two types of data:

1. Primary data
2. Secondary data

Difference between primary and secondary data:

Difference between both is of matter of degree or relativity only.

a)      Primary data: If the data is collected originally by the investigator, it is called primary data. This data is the data which is collected and processed for the first time. The data relating to fertility in any country is primary data.

b)      Secondary data: If the data is collected from somewhere else, it is called secondary data. This data is the data for all other sources that later uses the primary data. For example: The same data of fertility reproduced by UNO in its UN statistical abstract becomes secondary data.

Advantages of primary and secondary data:

Let us discuss the advantages of primary and secondary data:

1.      Primary data: Primary data usually shows data is detail. It includes definitions of terms and units used. It includes the copy of the schedule.

2.      Secondary data: It is quicker to obtain secondary data than primary. It may be available on the subjects where it would be impossible to collect primary data. It is convenient to use the secondary data.

Choice between primary and secondary data depends upon following parameters:

a)      Nature and scope of inquiry

b)      Availability of time

c)      Availability of financial resources

d)     Degree of accuracy desired

e)      The collecting agency whether it is and individual, an institution or a government body.

This is the information about types of data viz; primary & secondary data, their differences and their advantages.

Brain Teaser:

If you have understood the above topic of primary and secondary data, then answer the following question:

Data collected from research journals is:

a)      Primary data

b)      Secondary data

c)      None of the above

d)     Both