primary and secondary data

What is the difference between primary data and secondary data? Please give me some examples. Tks.

1 Answer

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  • RC
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Primary data is information that is obtained directly from first-hand sources by means of surveys, observation or experimentation.

    Secondary data is information that is obtained from previously published materials, such as books, magazines, newspapers, government census publications and company reports and files.

    The key different is that primary data is information obtained directly by the collector (an organization or individual) and secondary data is information obtained indirectly by the collector from other information sources.

    Example 1

    Primary data - a researcher interviews a legislator for the legislator's opinions on the current government's housing policy. That is the researcher directly obtains the opinions from the legislator. Such opinions are primary data.

    Secondary data - a researcher obtains a legislator's opinions on the current government's housing policy from a news article written by a journalist after interviewing the legislator. The news article is secondary data.

    Example 2

    Primary data - a product manager wants to know if the company's product is safe or not. He / She orders his / her company's own laboratory to conduct a test on the product. The data produced by the laboratory on the product is primary data.

    Secondary data - a product manager wants to know if the company's product is safe or not. He / She finds a report on the product's safety produced by the Consumer Council. The data contained in the report is secondary data.

    Example 3

    Primary data - a cafe owner wants to know nowadays young people's expectation on taste and price of coffee. He / She asks his / her members of staff to interview some young people on streets. The data collected by the members of staff is primary data.

    Secondary data - a cafe owner wants to know nowadays young people's expectation on taste and price of coffee. He / She finds and analyzes a couple of articles on this topic in two magazines. These two articles are secondary data for the owner.

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