Importance of data and data collection


Data is an any concept of a matter or incident. “Datum” is a Greek word. It’s plural from is “Data”. This means to give or something given. Data comes from observations made upon reality. A data is a collection of statical information of values of the variable of interest in a study.

Source of Data

Data can be defined as the quantitative or qualitative values of a variable. Data is thought to be the lowest unit of information from which other measurements and analysis can be done. Data can be numbers, images, words, figures, facts or ideas. Data in itself cannot be understood and to get information from the data one must interpret it into meaningful information. There are various methods of interpreting data. Data sources are broadly classified into primary and secondary data.

Types of Data

Importance of data and data collection

Data is one of the most important and vital aspect of any research studies. Researchers conducted in different fields of study can be different in methodology but every research is based on data which is analyzed and interpreted to get information. Data is the basic unit in statistical studies. Statistical information like census, population variables, health statistics, and road accidents records all developed from data.

Techniques of Data collection

There are two sources of data collection techniques. Primary and secondary data collection techniques, primary data collection uses surveys, experiments or direct observations. Secondary data collection may be conducted by collecting information from a diverse source of documents or electronically stored information census and market studies are examples of a common sources of secondary data. This is also referred to as “data mining”.

Primary Data

Primary data means original data that has been collected specially for the purpose in mind. It means someone collected the data from the original source first hand. Data collected this way is called primary data.

Primary data has not been published yet and is more reliable, authentic and objective. Primary data has not been changed or altered by human beings; therefore its validity is greater than secondary data.

Sources of primary data

There are many types of data. That’s describing below:

Survey: survey is most commonly used method in social sciences, management, marketing and psychology to some extent. Observation, questionnaire, interview, sampling are some of survey type.

Those are quantitative data source. Questionnaire survey also many types there are structure, unstructured, open-ended and close-ended. Questionnaire is the most commonly used method in survey. Questionnaire is a list of questions for which the respondent gives answers. Questionnaire is a list of questions send to a number of persons for them to answer and it secures standardized result which can be tabulated statistical. Questionnaire is a send of some organized number wise question for getting the information from the population about any spatial problems.

Observations can be done while letting the observing person know that he is being observed or without letting him know. Observations can also be made in natural settings as well as in artificially created environment.

Schedule and nonscheduled are types of interview. Interview is a face to face conversation with the respondent. It is slow, expensive, and they take people away from their regular jobs, but they allow in depth questioning and follow up questions.

Random, systematic, stratified, cluster are some types of sampling. It is also very important part of survey.

Qualitative data survey are field techniques, RRA (rapid rural appraisal), PRA (participatory rural appraisal), FGD (focus group discussion).

Advantages of Primary Data

• Data interpretation is better.

• Targeted issues are addressed.

• Efficient spending for information.

• Decency of data.

• Addresses specific research issues.

• Greater control.

• Proprietary issues.

Disadvantages of primary research

• High cost

• Time consuming

• Inaccurate feed backs

• More number of resources is required.

Secondary Data

Secondary data is the data that has been already collected by and readily available from other sources. When we use statistical method with primary data from another purpose for our purpose we refer to it as secondary data. It means that one purpose’s primary data is another purpose’s secondary data. So that secondary data is being reused. Such data are more quickly obtainable than primary data. Published, unpublished, census data, historical documents, satellite image, aerial photography are classification of secondary data.

Sources of secondary data

Published data sources are many varieties. Their credibility depends on many factors. New sources are preferred and old sources should be avoided as new technology and researches bring new facts into light. Books, journals, magazines, websites, newspaper, report of national, international organization are some types of published data.

Unpublished data sources are also many varieties. Report, thesis, map, official state map are example of unpublished data. Census data are that information which keeps record of a country. Example: country population. Historical document, satellite image, aerial photography are also well known secondary data.

Advantage of secondary Data

• Inexpensive

• Easily accessible

• Immediately available

• Quality is good

• Will provide research method alternatives.

• Will also alert the researcher to any potential difficulties.

• Less laborer need.

Disadvantage of secondary Data

• There is no originality

• There is no detail information

• Sometime there is no data available

• Sometime it can’t use satellite.


Primary research entails the use of immediate data in determining the survival of the market. The popular ways to collect primary data consist of surveys, interviews and focus groups, which shows that direct relationship between potential customers and the companies. Whereas secondary research is a means to reprocess and reuse collected information as an indication for betterments of the service or product.

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