Primary and Secondary Data

Primary

Questionnaires – are used to gain a large amount of data from a large demographic, whether this be qualitative or quantitative data. A questionnaire can be focused to a specific research by changing the questions, making them more specific.

Interviewing- is a technique that is primarily used to gain an understanding of the underlying reasons and motivations for people’s attitudes, preferences or behavior (qualitative data). Interviews are not just subjected to one – one meetings, groups can be interviewed as well although when this is done you can get a more generalised opinion on a question.

Observation – is when the researcher personally oversees a group or individuals activities, this can be in many forms, for example participant and non participant. Participant is when the person being observed knows that they are, non participant is when they don’t know.

Diaries can be a way of obtaining either qualitative or quantitative data and can be used to realise someone’s work activities or daily lives.

Sampling is a mass data collection of a population and can be used to generalise certain things for example average age in an area. A census is a good example of sampling as it is a mass data collection of everyone’s age and name.

Secondary

Books – data collected by someone else, this data is used when a researcher needs references on a specific subject. A book might be titled computers of the 1980s, if the researcher wants a specific computer they will have to sift through the data and select it. This data is used to back up information or gain more information about a subject.

Internet – the Internet is a good source of information if you want to collect data quickly, however sites like Wikipedia are sometimes unreliable and may affect your project because the website is open to public editing.

Video on a specific subject used to get a more graphic image of the subject to better allow the researcher to interpret or summarise it.

Image

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