Primary vs Secondary Data

Primary vs Secondary Data

Primary Data

There exists a significant difference between Secondary data and primary form ofdata. Primary data is the kind of data collected by a researcher to solve a particular issue (Johnston, 2017). Primary data is also known as the ‘raw material’ or rather ‘first hand’ information.First-hand information is likely to have relevance, objectivity, completeness, and accuracy among many other crucial benefits since the researcher is the one collecting the data. Primary data may be retrieved through carrying outobservations, conducting surveys and experimentations (Johnston, 2017).Primary data involves something designed by you for your personal use.For instance, a researcher may conduct research to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of Subaru motor vehicle in terms of fuel consumption from its consumers.The researcher may be involved directly in observing and testing of Subaru in the field. Also, the researcher may issue a questionnaire to determine the user’s feedbacks which they later use for analysis.

Secondary Data

On the other side, secondary data involves collecting information from another individual for another purpose (Johnston, 2017).Additionally, secondary data may be either unpublished or published, but the research does not take part in collecting them. Therefore, secondary data may be retrieved via reviewing of books, articles, and reports created by other people. Thus, secondary data is always ready for retrieval. Despite secondary data’s availability, it is of importance to carefully consider its both credibility and accuracy of the source (Johnston, 2017). This is because some sources may contain biased information or opinions on the subject matter by having exaggerated information.An example is whereby a researcher consults the internet to retrieve information on Subaru motor vehicles. The researcher may also consult Subaru’s efficiency and effectiveness through already researched and written articles online and books.



Johnston, M. P. (2017). Secondary data analysis: A method of which the time has come. Qualitative and quantitative methods in libraries, 3(3), 619-626.

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