A Business Encyclopedia

Secondary Data Collection Methods

Definition: When the data are collected by someone else for a purpose other than the researcher’s current project and has already undergone the statistical analysis is called as Secondary Data.

The secondary data are readily available from the other sources and as such, there are no specific collection methods. The researcher can obtain data from the sources both internal and external to the organization. The internal sources of secondary data are:

  • Sales Report
  • Financial Statements
  • Customer details, like name, age, contact details, etc.
  • Company information
  • Reports and feedback from a dealer, retailer, and distributor
  • Management information system

There are several external sources from where the secondary data can be collected. These are:

  • Government censuses, like the population census, agriculture census, etc.
  • Information from other government departments, like social security, tax records, etc.
  • Business journals
  • Social Books
  • Business magazines
  • Libraries
  • Internet, where wide knowledge about different areas is easily available.

The secondary data can be both qualitative and quantitative. The qualitative data can be obtained through newspapers, diaries, interviews, transcripts, etc., while the quantitative data can be obtained through a survey, financial statements and statistics.

One of the advantages of the secondary data is that it is easily available and hence less time is required to gather all the relevant information. Also, it is less expensive than the primary data. But however the data might not be specific to the researcher’s needs and at the same time is incomplete to reach a conclusion. Also, the authenticity of the research results might be skeptical.


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