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  • Institute of Professional Studies

    School of Research and Graduate Studies

    Collecting Secondary and Primary


    Lecture Nine

  • Outline of Presentation


    Difference between Secondary and Primary data

    Secondary data,Types, Sources and uses

    Advantages and Disadvantages of Secondary Data

    Primary Data through Observation

    Primary Data through Interviews

    Primary Data through Questionnaires


  • Introduction

    In considering how to answer your research question(s) and

    objective(s), you probably will need to decide whether you will

    need use data that has been collected for some other purpose

    already or collect new data by yourself.

    While it may be possible to answer some research questions

    with secondary data or primary data alone, others may require



  • Difference between Secondary and

    Primary DataPrimary data refers to data that is freshly collected for

    achieving the purpose of the current study while Secondary

    Data refers to data which was originally collected for a different

    purpose but it is being used for another purpose.

    The decision to use Primary or secondary data may be based on:





    Cost and benefits4




  • Types of Secondary DataSecondary data may be quantitative (numerical) or

    qualitative (non-numerical).

    It may also be Raw data, where there has been little or no

    processing, or Compiled data, where the data has received

    some form of processing or transformation.

    Saunders, Lewis and Thornhil (2007) have categorized secondary

    data into:

    Documentary Secondary data

    Survey-based secondary data and

    Secondary data compiled fromMultiple sources5

  • Types of Secondary Data Contd

    Documentary Secondary Data are often used in research

    project that also use primary data collection methods.

    Documentary secondary data include written materials such

    as notices, correspondences, minutes of meetings, reports to

    shareholders, diaries, transcripts of speeches and administrative

    and public records.

    Documentary secondary data also include non-written

    materials such as voice and video recordings, pictures,

    drawings, films and television programmes.



  • Types of Secondary Data Contd

    Survey-based secondary data refers to data collected using

    a survey strategy usually by questionnaires that have already

    been analysed for their original purpose.

    Survey-based secondary data might have been collected through

    one of three distinct subtypes of survey strategies:


    Continuous and regular surveys

    Ad hoc surveys



  • Types of Secondary Data Contd

    Censuses are usually carries out by governments and are

    unique because participation is obligatory. They provide

    very good coverage of the population survey.

    Continuous and regular surveys are those surveys,

    excluding censuses that are repeated over time.

    Ad hoc surveys are usually one-off surveys and are far

    more specific in their subject matter. They include data

    from questionnaires that have been undertaken by

    independent researchers as well as interviews undertaken

    by organizations and government8

  • Types of Secondary Data Contd

    Multiple-source secondary Data can be based entirely on

    documentary or on survey secondary data, or a combination of the

    two. The key feature is that it is different data sets combined to form

    another data set prior to your accessing the data.

    Data from multiple sources could be combined to form

    Time series data if the surveys have been repeated a number of


    Area-based if the surveys have the same geographical basis


  • Advantages of Secondary Data1. May have fewer resource requirements

    2. May be readily available and quicker to analyze

    3. Longitudinal studies may be feasible

    4. Can provide comparative data

    5. Can result in unforeseen discoveries

    6. permanence


  • Disadvantages of Secondary Data

    1. May be collected for a purpose that does not match your


    2. Access may be difficult or costly

    3. Combinations and definitions may be unsuitable

    4. No real control over data quality

    5. Initial purpose may affect how data are presented


  • Primary Data collectionPrimary data may collected by:





  • Questionnaire

    Questionnaire is a prepared set of questions (or measures) to which

    respondents or interviewers record answers. Using questionnaire, the

    same set of questions are expected to answered by all the respondents.

    The design of the questionnaire will affect the response rate and the

    reliability and validity of the data you collect. To maximize response rate,

    reliability and validity:

    1. Carefully design each question

    2. Clearly layout the questionnaire form

    3. Explain the purpose of the questionnaire

    4. Pilot testing

    5. Carefully plan and administered the questionnaire13


  • Types of Questionnaires


    Internet-mediated questionnaire

    Postal questionnaire

    Delivery and collection questionnaire


    Telephone questionnaire

    Structured interview


  • Self-Completion or Interviewer

    Assisted Questionnaire?

    Educational background.

    Vocabulary level.

    Prior experience in completing questionnaires.


    Cultural issues.


  • Designing Questionnaire

    The design of each question should be determine by the data

    you need to collect. When designing each questions,

    researchers do one of three things:

    Adopt questions used in other questionnaires

    Adapt questions used in other questionnaires

    Develop their own questions


  • Steps in Questionnaire Design

    Step 1: Initial Considerations

    Step 2: Clarification of Concepts

    Step 3: Typology of a Questionnaire

    Step 4: Pre-testing of a Questionnaire

    Step 5: Administering a Questionnaire


  • Questionnaire Design Initial



    Clarify the nature of the research problem and


    Develop research questions to meet research


    Define target population and sampling frame.

    Determine sampling approach, sample size, and

    expected response rate.

    Make an initial decision about the method of data


  • Questionnaire Design

    Clarification of Concepts

    Ensure the concepts(s) can be clearly defined

    Select the variables/indicators to represent the


    Determine the level of measurement.


  • Questionnaire Design Typology of

    a Questionnaire

    Determine the types of questions to include and

    their order.

    Check the wording and coding of questions.

    Decide on the grouping of the questions and the

    overall length of the questionnaire.

    Determine the structure and layout of the




    Two Types of Questions:

    1. Open-ended.

    2. Closed-ended.

    Open-ended Questions = place no constraints on

    respondents who are free to answer in their own


    Closed-ended Questions = respondent is given the

    option of choosing from a number of predetermined



  • Open-ended Questions

    Typically used in exploratory/qualitative studies.

    Typically used in personal interview surveys involving

    small samples.

    Allows respondent freedom of response.

    Respondent must be articulate and willing to spend time

    giving a full answer.

    Data is in narrative form which can be time consuming and

    difficult to code and analyze.

    Possible researcher bias in interpretation.

    Narrative can be analyzed using content analysis. Software

    is available.22

  • Closed-end Questions

    Single Answer.

    Multiple Answer.

    Rank Order.



    Semantic Differential.


  • Closed-end Questions

    Typically used in quantitative studies.

    Assumption is researcher has knowledge to pre-specify

    response categories.

    Data can be pre-coded and therefore in a form amenable for

    use with statistical packages (e.g., SPSS, SAS) data capture

    therefore easier.

    More difficult to design but simplifies analysis.

    Used in studies involving large samples.

    Limited range of response options.


  • Broad Considerations

    Sequencing of questions.

    Identification of concepts.

    How many questions are required to capture each concept?

    Question wording.

    Overall length of questionnaire.

    Placing of sensitive questions.

    Ability of respondents.

    Level of measurement.

    Open-ended versus closed-end questions.


  • Questionnaire Sections


    The relevant sections are:

    Classification Questions

    Research Topic Questions

    Opening Questions

  • Kinds of QuestionsBranching Que