The task of data collection begins after a research problem has been defined and research design/plan chalked out. While deciding about the method of data collection to be used for the study, the researcher should keep in mind two types of data viz., primary and secondary. The primary data are those which are collected afresh and for the first time, and thus happen to be original in character. The secondary data, on the other hand, are those which have already been collected by someone else and which have already been passed through the statistical process. The researcher would have to decide which sort of data he would be using (thus collecting) for his study and accordingly he will have to select one or the other method of data collection. The methods of collecting primary and secondary data differ since primary data are to be originally collected, while in case of secondary data the nature of data collection work is merely that of compilation. We describe the different methods of data collection, with the pros and cons of each method.
Collection of primary data
We collect primary data during the course of doing experiments in an experimental research but in case we do research of the descriptive type and perform surveys, whether sample surveys or census surveys, then we can obtain primary data either through observation or through direct communication with respondents in one form or another or through personal interviews. This, in other words, means
An experiment refers to an investigation in which a factor or variable under test is isolated and its effect(s) measured. In an experiment the investigator measures the effects of an experiment which he conducts intentionally. Survey refers to the method of securing information concerning a phenomenon under study from all or a selected number of respondents of the concerned universe. In a survey, the investigator examines those phenomena which exist in the universe independent of his action. The...