Essay Example on Research Methods and Secondary Data

Published: 2019-05-27 22:04:02
Essay Example on Research Methods and Secondary Data
Categories: Data analysis Research
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 733 words
7 min read

Secondary data entails the information that one intends or uses during research but which they did not collect the data directly from the subjects or respondents themselves. Researchers employ secondary data available in articles, books, journals, or published theses during their academic research paper in the course of their studies. Further, there are institutions whose primary agenda is collect data, for example, regional offices dealing with statistical issues and information. This gives the student or researcher a place to look for statistical data. However, for business studies research, especially one that involves qualitative analysis, it is difficult to use secondary data as a researcher is supposed to find a distinguished fact not used before. Despite this fact, a student or any other business studies researcher can find a vast data on the internet. The typical internet sources include the EU websites on different fields including Labor Force Survey and Global Market Information Database. The UK databases on Social Sciences and Labor Market trends also play a crucial role. When the subject of the research involves the international or national level of action, then the statistics at former and the latter will inform the research paper study. Moreover, a student or researcher can find informative secondary data in survey reports, and documentaries. Therefore, a researcher can look for secondary data in business books, theses, journals and the internet.

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Secondary data considerably contributes to ones research paper mainly because it is easily and cheaply available. The availability of broad data groupings in survey reports serving as a secondary data when doing a survey research paper help compare old census with the recent ones at both the national and international level thus help come up with informed theses. Furthermore, because most of the secondary data, especially in books and theses, start with a contextual background of the study, it is easy to trace and understand the origins of the topic thus more comprehension of the subject. Additionally, the fact that data at the national and international levels are collected over a vast periodic time, it allows for longitudinal research findings and cross-cultural ones. Therefore, because primary data is quite expensive to collect, secondary data contributes immensely to research paper as they have informed data.

Despite the positive contributions discussed in 2 above, there are several demerits of using secondary data as a primary source of data in the research paper. Firstly, the secondary data can have a poor quality of information, as what are recorded in secondary sources is largely controlled by the primary data collector. This, therefore, necessitates the secondary data user to scrutinize the origins of the information critically before using them thus consuming a lot of time. Secondly, the presentation of secondary data is often not specific to the needs of the researcher. Most of the secondary sources are voluminous and sometimes one finds the information in one or two pages between the numerous pages. Moreover, sometimes authors of secondary data communicate in a hidden language, and unless the researcher has, good command of English and interpretative skills, the information in the data prove useless. Also, secondary data most times has incomplete information following the emission of data to limit the word limit of theses by the primary information researcher and recorder. The secondary data user, therefore, ends up with insufficient information hence a poor research paper.

The survey research aids in the collection of quantitative data. This is because a survey research gathers information focusing on a large population while applying statistical techniques to recognize the characteristics of the groups in the study. The data analysis here is mostly statistical in nature presented in the form of tabulations. On the other hand, experiments are a qualitative data collection method as it mainly focuses on a specific group of individuals or organisms in cases of scientific research. Experiments carried out objective at gaining an in-depth understanding of the underlying reasons for the existence of a thought, human or animal life. The sample is usually a small number selected to represent a given quota. The data analysis is non-statistical.


Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE Publications.

Greener, S. (2008). Business research methods.,. (2015). Secondary Research - Disadvantages - Retrieved 1 October 2015, from

SurveyMonkey,. (2015). Quantitative vs. Qualitative Research | SurveyMonkey. SurveyMonkey. Retrieved 1 October 2015, from

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