Difference between Primary and Secondary Data

Primary vs Secondary Data

Difference between Primary and Secondary Data: The data is a set of values of qualitative or quantitative variables. In statistics, the data are the individual observations. The scientific investigations involve observations on variables. The observations made on these variables are obtained in the form of ‘data’.

Based on the source, the data is categorized into TWO types: (1) Primary Data and (2) Secondary Data.

Primary Data: Data collected for the first time by the original investigator.

Secondary Data: The data used in statistical investigations which have already been collected by some other for their purpose and published.

Difference between Primary and Secondary Data

The present post discusses the Differences between Primary Data and Secondary Data with a Comparison Table.

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Similarities between Primary and Secondary Data

Ø  Both the primary and secondary data are statistical data.

Ø  Both are variable helpful in the statistical investigation.

Ø  Both can be quantitative and qualitative.

Difference between Primary and Secondary Data

Sl. No.Primary DataSecondary Data
1Primary data is the original data collected by the investigator.Secondary data is not original. The investigator makes use of the data collected by other investigator or agencies.
2Primary data collection is time consuming and requires more energy and money.Use of secondary data is relatively less expensive and it is less time consuming.
3The suitability of primary data for the current investigation will be more, since the data has been collected by the instigator.The suitability of the secondary data for the current investigation cannot be predicted. It may or may not suit the objectives of the study.
4Primary data will be obtained as raw data. It should be categorized before further analysis.The secondary data in most of the cases will be categorized and they can be directly used in the analysis.
5Primary data can be used without much precaution because the data is collected by the investigator itself.The use of secondary data should be with grater care; otherwise it may lead to wrong interpretations.
6Investigations based on primary data will be more accurate since it involves the attention and personal interest of the investigator.The accuracy of the investigation with secondary data will be comparatively less since the investigator is depends on data collected by others.
7The source of primary data may be the result of an experiment, a survey etc.The source of secondary data are governmental and nongovernmental organization, published reports, journals, books etc.
8The possibility of personal prejudice exists in primary dataPossibility of lesser degree of personal prejudice.

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