Essay: Secondary Data
Essay: Secondary Data
The secondary data provides for a basis for the research work and comprises of data collected from previous research work in the same area and is present before the current research. The secondary data collected for research purposes is based on different aims and objectives from the current research which acts as a disadvantage to the current research. This is the main disadvantage as the aims and objectives of the secondary data are quite different from the current research they could be sometimes misleading. Another disadvantage of secondary data is that it is quite difficult to search and find as limited options are available for relevant and recent data.
When the secondary data is limited and quite hard to find the researcher may have to perform extensive personal research to obtain the necessary data and information for the research. The accuracy and reliability of the available secondary data is also an important concern and a limitation to the research work. The secondary data utilised in the research work should be obtained from reliable and authentic sources for the research work to be more reliable. There may be errors present in the previous research and the researcher would have to check for these errors and verify the integrity and accuracy of the data available in the previous researches.
Albeit these drawbacks and disadvantages exist in secondary data, researchers still utilise secondary data in research work regularly as there are various attractions for researchers in secondary data. The most attractive part being the cost effectiveness of secondary data as it is quite inexpensive to collect secondary data and can be obtained from various sources such as libraries, books, internet and journals. Another benefit of using secondary data is the time effectiveness as the researcher can gather data from secondary sources much quicker and in a timely fashion. Time is of key importance in today’s competitive environment and researchers focus on data collection methods which not only save valuable time but also cut down costs of the research work.
The secondary data can be collected from various sources which include internal and external sources. The internal sources include data collected from annual reports of the company, historical data available in the company’s database, reports generated by the sales team of the company, internal database of the company which may include customer and supplier information and any other reports available from within the company. The external sources of secondary data are larger in number and include sources such as books, trade journals and periodicals, finance journals such as the Economist, Business Week and Wall Street Journal. Internet is another source of secondary data and there are various organisational and government websites which offer authentic and reliable data including websites which exclusively provide previous research papers in specific research areas. Other sources of secondary data include university sources which include libraries, government sources which offer comprehensive data for various research areas and data is also available from sources such as directories and catalogues (Reid and Bojanic 2009).