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Using secondary data
Transcript of Using secondary data
data Secondary data, is data collected by someone other than the user.
Secondary data can provide a useful source from which to answer, or partially to answer,your research question (s). Primary data, by contrast, are collected by the investigator conducting the research. Secondary data include both quantitative and qualitative data and they are used principally in both descriptive and explanatory research. The data you use may be raw data, where there has been little if any processing, or compiled data that have received some form of selection or summarizing. SECONDARY
DATA PUBLISHED SUMMARIES RAW DATA Documentary secondary data are often used in research projects that also use primary data collection methods. However, you can also use them on their own or with other sources of secondary data, for example for business history research within an archival research strategy. Survey-based secondary data refers to data collected using a survey strategy, usually by questionnaires that have already been analyzed for their original purpose. Such data normally refer to organizations, people or households. They are made available as compiled data tables or, increasingly frequently, as a down loadable matrix of raw data for secondary analysis. Multiple-source secondary data can be based entirely on documentary or on survey secondary data, or can be an amalgam of the two. The key factor is that different data sets have been combined to form another data set prior to your accessing the data. One of the more common types of multiple-source data that you are likely to come across in document form is various compilations of company information such as Europe's 15,000 Largest Companies (ELC International 2007). Locating secondary data
Finding relevant secondary data requires detective work, which has two interlinked stages:
- establishing that the sort of data you require are likely to be available as secondary data;
- locating the precise data you require. Advantages
May have fewer resource requirements
Unobtrusive (keeping a low profile, like unnoticeable)
Longitudinal studies may be feasible
Can provide comparative and contextual data
Can result in unforeseen discoveries
Permanence of data
May be collected for a purpose that does not match your need
Access may be difficult or costly
Aggregations and definitions may be unsuitable
No real control over data quality
Initial purpose may affect how data are presented ANALYZE Evaluating secondary data sources
• they will enable you to answer your research question(s) and to meet your objectives;
• the benefits associated with their use will be greater than the costs;
• you will be allowed access to the data Three main
sub-groups of secondary data documentary data survey-based
data multiple-source data Done by: Abdimalik D.
Checked by: Pak N., PhD Content:
types of secondary data
locating secondary data
advantages & disadvantages
evaluating secondary data sources
references Finding secondary data Overall suitability
coverage and unmeasured variables Costs and benefits Costs include both time and
financial resources that you will need to devote to obtaining the data.
Benefits from data can be assessed in terms of the extent to which they will enable you to answer your research question(s) and meet your objectives. Overall suitability Does the data set contain the information you require to answer your research question(s) and meet your objectives?
Are the data for the right time period or sufficiently up to date?
Are data available for all the variables you require to answer your research question(s) and meet your objectives? Precise suitability The reliability and validity you ascribe to secondary data are functions of the method by which the data were collected and the source. Measurement bias can occur for two reasons :
• deliberate or intentional distortion of data;
• changes in the way data are collected. Precise suitability How reliable is the data set you are thinking of using?
Is the method clearly described?
Who was responsible for collecting or recording the data? Mark Saunders, Philip Lewis and Adrian Thornhill Research methods for business students 5 th edition Reference Costs and benefits • What are the financial and time costs of obtaining these data?
• Can the data be downloaded into a spreadsheet, statistical analysis software or word processor?
• Do the overall benefits of using these secondary data sources outweigh the associated costs?