Differences between Primary and Secondary data

Differencesbetween Primary and Secondary data

Primarydata can be defined as any new information that a researcher collectsfor the first time for a particular purpose. This kind of data isunique, in the essence that it has never been published before, as itis collected by the researcher from its source of origin. Theresearchers together with his appointed agents collect the data withan objective in mind. For example the data may be used to solvecertain problems on which its sphere of interest lies. It is onlywhen the researcher analyses and uses the data for the purpose it wascollected for, that it turns into secondary data. A good example ofprimary data would be data that is collected by a student for his/herthesis.

Secondarydata, on the other hand, is any information that was previouslycollected by another researcher but which can be borrowed to utilizefor another purpose. Hence, it also referred to as second-hand data.It can be obtained from published sources such as government data,and company reports. Therefore, since this type of data is extractedfrom already known sources, it is readily available. An example ofsecondary data utilization is making reference to government censusdata to prepare a presentation to your bosses on the impact of anincreased population.

Itis important to note that even if data was originally collected butnot utilized, it remains to be primary data, but the moment it isused it changes to secondary data. Data remains data, whether primaryor secondary. Nevertheless, the distinction comes with the detachmentfrom its original source and how it is being used.